Qld to help build rail line for Galilee Basin coal miners
THE Queensland Government has agreed to co-build a rail line with Adani Mining in the Galilee Basin to get coal from the Carmichael mine to port.
Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney announced this morning the government would take a "minority" stake in the development - which he said would cost "hundreds of millions" of dollars.
He would not confirm how much the government would spend on the project - but said the offer to assist other Galilee miners, including GVK and Waratah, had been extended.
Mr Seeney said the funding for the project would come from the asset leasing project the government will institute should it win the next election.
Anti-coal group Stop Australian Coal Exports slammed the agreement stating it came at a time when the wold was moving away from fossil fuels as seen by the United States and China announcing plans to reduce carbon emissions last week.
Mr Seeney rejected this however, stating coal had a long future in providing energy to the world. He said Queensland could play an important role in providing electricity to millions of impoverished Indians.
The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) also condemned the government.
Felicity Wishart, AMCS Great Barrier Reef campaign director said it will be an extraordinary waste of taxpayer funding for a project that was high risk financially and an environmental disaster.
"We have seen some of the world's biggest banks reject funding for the Abbot Point port expansion plans, and leading financial analysts from around the world have indicated it is simply not economic.
"Yet the Queensland government is forging ahead, determined to open up the Galilee Basin coal mine despite the coal boom being over, the coal mines in the Bowen Basin closing down and the risk to the Reef.
"Queenslanders need to be told where this money is going to come from? Is it from cuts made to schools, hospitals and the services people rely on, or from the anticipated sale of existing assets?
"Clearly the government is proposing to subsidise this rail line because commercial banks are not prepared to.
"The rail and port expansion plans will see three million tonnes dredged from the seafloor and dumped in the Caley Valley wetlands, natural filter and fish nursery for the Great Barrier Reef.
"It will see hundreds more ships crossing the Great Barrier Reef.
"It will also see Queenslanders taxes wasted on a fruitless plan to try to export uneconomic reserves of coal that are better left in the ground.
"Subsidising the Galilee Rail to Abbot Point rail project is a lose, lose proposition that ignores the concerns of the community, the World Heritage Committee, science and economic risk analysis.