More coal trains, like this one, will become a reality on the Central Highalnds, but primary producers are calling for the state government to create a single rail corridor for three separate lines. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin
More coal trains, like this one, will become a reality on the Central Highalnds, but primary producers are calling for the state government to create a single rail corridor for three separate lines. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin Chris Ison

Galilee State Development Area worries Clermont landholders

"IT'S a David-versus-Goliath battle".

Clermont landholder Shontae Moran's heart sank when she received a phone call on Friday saying her family property, DoubleD Station, was part of a new Galilee Basin State Development Area.

Along with 73 other landholders, Mrs Moran's cattle station will be affected by the Queensland Government's plans to build two major rail corridors to carry coal from the region to Abbot Point.

"At this point we are not even sure what they can and can't do," Mrs Moran said.

"In the proposal, the rail corridor was going to be 60 metres wide, and now it could be 600m wide.

"It's going to affect an even larger proportion of our property than we first thought.

"It will run 19km through our place, decrease our land value and increase the risk of fire and flooding."

Mrs Moran is part of the landholder group Corridor to Coast - Galilee Network and said the proposed corridors would run over a flood plain.

 

"It is certainly not a case of sour grapes because it is on our property," she said.

"We support development but it has to be done in the right place.

"Mining companies will lease the corridor for 30 years, but what happens when it gets washed out?

"The State Government will have to pay for that."

 

She said other landholders shared her concerns, adding that since negotiations could not be struck with mining companies, the State Government stepped in to allow compulsory acquisition or agreement.

"The government basically sided with mining companies," she said.

Mrs Moran questioned the legacy she would be able to leave her children.

"You have to ask yourself what sort of a mess will be left for them?" she said.

"And what are they going to have to put up with?"

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney said the move came after "extensive consultation" and would ensure 28,000 jobs in the Galilee Basin.

"We have told resources proponents they can access just two corridors totalling 690km - one from the southern and one from the central end of the basin," Mr Seeney said.

"We have listened and responded to landholder concerns by reducing the size of this development area by 94%."

The Lock the Gate Alliance has fiercely opposed the State Government's move.

"The truth is GVK has not been able to get its way with landholders who are making reasonable claims in order to protect their businesses and livelihoods, so it's called in the government to do the dirty work for it," Central Queensland co-ordinator Ellie Smith said.

"This move facilitates mines that by all accounts are not financially viable."


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