Surat Rail Bill passed by Qld govt

THE Queensland government has passed the Surat Basin Rail Bill – another step towards the completion of a rail line that is planned to unlock 6.3 billion tonnes of coal reserves in the basin.
Surat Rail Bill passed by Qld govt Surat Rail Bill passed by Qld govt Surat Rail Bill passed by Qld govt Surat Rail Bill passed by Qld govt Surat Rail Bill passed by Qld govt

Map showing Surat Basin Railway.

Lou Caruana

The objective of the SBR Bill is to create a specific legislative framework for the Surat Basin Rail project which complements existing legislation currently applying to railways in Queensland.

The bill incorporates a range of new provisions relating to the regulation of the SBR corridor and surrounding land, statutory powers to access land, tenure over roads and non-tidal boundary watercourses, severance of assets for taxation purposes and administration of the bill by the coordinator-general.

The SBR Bill also addresses a range of issues for affected landholders.

MetroCoal chief executive officer Mike O’Brien said the legislation was an important milestone for coal mining companies in the Surat Basin.

“This legislation shows that the government is serious about assisting mining companies further develop coal opportunities and allows a framework for pathway to market for the emerging coal players in the Surat Basin, including our thermal coal projects at Bundi and Columboola,” he said.

Often referred to as the “Southern Missing Link”, Surat Basin Rail will be a 214km railway supporting up to 24 diesel-powered train movements per day, with provision made for electrification in the future.

In order to accommodate the railway, a corridor of approximately 60m wide will be acquired from affected landowners and fenced along its entire length.