Graziers push for single rail corridor
LANDHOLDERS across Central Queensland who will be impacted by five proposed railway lines from the Galilee Basin to the coast will meet senior government leaders this month.
Talks will be held at Clermont on June 29, with the recently formed group – called Corridor to Coast: Galilee Network (C2C) – securing the meeting after discussions six weeks ago with Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Andrew Fraser in Brisbane.
While five different mining companies have applied to develop separate railway lines in the area, each company believed that a single line would be the most productive.
But C2C spokesman and Clermont cattle producer John Burnett said each company thought its own proposal was the best, so the State Government would need to mediate to get the best outcome for both landholders and companies.
Queensland’s Co-ordinator-General Keith Davies and a team of senior department heads will visit Clermont, with the C2C group hosting a two-day visit, including an inspection of road crossings, flood plains and rail sites the day before meeting landholders.
“Over 100 beef and grain-producing properties are presently involved in negotiations with at least four mining company giants, trying to save their businesses and the environment from catastrophic impact from poorly managed development options,” Mr Burnett said.
“The Minister was happy for his department heads to see the effects these developments will have on the highly productive flood plains of the upper Belyando and Suttor Rivers.
“At that time there was general acceptance from most proponents that one major infrastructure corridor was the preferred option for future minimal impact development.
“Government must now take a lead in deciding where that strategic corridor should travel to provide maximum benefit for future development in both mining and agriculture, while causing minimum economic and environmental impacts for the nation.”
During the two days of meetings, environmental impacts and landholder compensation will be discussed.