Queensland Premier Peter Beattie unveiled the infrastructure package today, outlining improvements to rail networks and ports and the rollout of new trains.
Beattie said the central Queensland coal industry supported thousands of the state’s inhabitants, and generated more than $15 billion this year in export revenue.
Included in the package, to be delivered through Queensland Rail and port authorities, is $360 million to continue the expansion of Gladstone's RG Tanna coal terminal, including a third ship-loader, extra stockpiles and a third rail balloon loop. The project is expected to see the terminal reach a maximum capacity of 68 million tonnes per annum.
Funding of $274 million has been allocated to the rollout of 35 new coal locomotives, 1150 coal wagons and the upgrading of 84 coal locomotives.
A further $57.6 million has been directed towards the $83.4 million construction of a third rail loop at the Dalrymple Bay coal terminal near Mackay and $63 million to expand the Abbot Point coal terminal near Bowen, to increase its capacity to 21Mtpa.
Queensland Deputy Premier Anna Bligh said the investment would support growth in Queensland’s coal export capacity to a forecast 210Mtpa by 2010, and possibly higher depending on demand.
Other funding in the package included:
$32 million to complete the $60 million deepening of the departure channel from Hay Point, currently the world's largest coal-loading port;
More than $29 million for capacity expansion works on the Blackwater rail system, including the completion of the Kinrola Branch upgrade and a track duplication between Windah and Grantleigh;
$2.8 million to continue the upgrade of the Goonyella rail network to match the expansion at Dalrymple Bay and Hay Point, including a new electrical feeder station to accommodate more trains; and
Almost $7 million for an ongoing feasibility study and land acquisition for the “northern missing link” rail corridor between the Goonyella and Newlands networks, linked to Abbot Point coal terminal.