Farmers shape up to fight

CENTRAL Queensland landholders are facing a fight they believe is easily avoidable.

Three new Galilee Basin coal mines are threatening to strip agricultural operators of valuable grazing land if proposed railway line developments go ahead.

Farmers whose land lies in the rail line’s path will meet at the Clermont Club on April 12, to discuss with government ministers, local politicians and Hancock, Waratah and Adani coal representatives a better course of action.

John Burnett, whose Frankfield property will be among the many properties impacted by the development, is calling on relevant parties to form a “rational and common sense” strategy for the proposal.

“The proposed line will cross at least 5km of natural floodplain country across Miclere Creek alone, with the majority of this line requiring a levee three to four metres high,” Mr Burnett said.

“We have been waiting for over 12 months for rational, common sense guidance from the Queensland Government to be forthcoming on these proposals.

“Until now, all we have seen is the Hancock rail link being granted Project of State Significance status (and) we are being forced to negotiate on a development that will split our business in half and produce a major environmental nightmare.”

Three lines have been proposed and some landholders are facing the prospect of the lines crossing through their paddocks, negatively impacting on future farm production.

The proposed rail systems pass within 20km of each other for most of their length, Mr Burnett said, with Hancock and Waratah coal lines running to Abbot Point.

Adani’s Carmichael Coal line has mapped a path to cross over those two lines and link with the current Moranbah rail network.

Mr Burnett is concerned about the “disastrous impacts” other rail lines constructed in the region have caused, and is calling for potentially impacted farmers to unite in strength to take their negotiations to the coal mining giants.

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