Queensland Government seeks feedback on rail link project

By: Jason Whittaker


The Queensland Government is seeking feedback on its proposed Southern Missing Link railway. The Government has released for public comment the

The Queensland Government is seeking feedback on its proposed Southern Missing Link railway.

The Government has released for public comment the draft Terms of Reference for the Environmental Impact statement of the project, with public consultation open until May16.

The proposed multi-billion dollar project is aimed a linking at Surat Basin’s vast coal reserves with Gladstone’s port facilities.

The Government has based the construction of the link on the argument it is essential in growing the State’s economy.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Paul Lucas says the project, if it proceeds, will open up the economy of the Surat Basin in the south-western part of Queensland by allowing the region to export coal and future mineral and agricultural products.

"This 207 kilometre link in the rail network will connect the Surat Basin's 6.3 billion tonnes of coal reserves to the Port of Gladstone," he says.

"The proposed rail corridor largely follows existing road reserves, most notably the Leichhardt

Highway, Nathan Road and Cracow-Theodore Road, to join existing Queensland Rail lines at Wandoan and Banana."

The Government has tasked Coordinator-General Colin Jensen with overseeing the consultation process, which involves working with the Surat Basin Rail Consortium, which was given an exclusive mandate in 2006 to develop the Surat Basin Railway through to financial close by mid 2010

"The Surat Basin Rail Consortium includes the Australian Transport and Energy Corridor, Industry Funds Managements, Queensland Rail, Xstrata Coal and Anglo Coal," Lucas says.

"This EIS process will require the consortium to outline the area's existing state, identify any potential impacts and strategies to minimise them."

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