No more coal wagons through Darling Downs: Emerson

THE Queensland government has hosed down speculation that extra coal will be moved through the current West Moreton rail system.

Lou Caruana

Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said false information was being passed on and that there had been no changes to arrangements since March.

Member for Yeerongpilly Carl Judge had said the government was intending to allow an extra 2 million tonnes to be transported through the rich agricultural belt in the Darling Downs.

“Local residents have passed on emails that suggest Carl Judge believes the government is considering a proposal to ship an additional two million tonnes a year of coal from the Darling Downs,” Emerson said.

“This is false and it appears Mr Judge is simply trying to mislead his local constituents by creating fear.

“The fact is the government rejected a proposal to increase coal shipments back in March and has no plans to change the current arrangements.”

The government is continuing to work with the coal industry to reduce coal dust across the West Moreton line by a process of veneering, Emerson said.

At the same time, the Queensland government is working with the federal Coalition government-elect to progress the inland rail commitment announced during the recent federal election campaign to get coal trains out of the suburbs.