Galilee rail corridors criticised

EWLP’s Galilee Infrastructure Corridor links with the company’s proposed Iron Boomerang project, a transcontinental multi-user rail corridor.
EWLP’s Galilee Infrastructure Corridor links with the company’s proposed Iron Boomerang project, a transcontinental multi-user rail corridor.

BEING 600km inland, the success of emerging Galilee Basin mines greatly relies on efficient rail to port infrastructure.

It makes sense, both economically and environmentally, that one heavy gauge, multi user line be built to service all.

Four mines and QR National are proposing individual lines from the basin to the Abbott Point coal port, a project which creates headaches for both government and landholders in their path.

Step in East West Line Parks Limited.

The company says the solution lies in its Galilee Infrastructure Corridor project - a double, 1436mm standard-gauge, 640km line with a 40-tonne axle load. It will be used by the mines and agriculture industries and has been specifically designed to minimise land impacts.

In its application for project of significant status with the State Government, the company expected to be equally and fairly considered with the other proponents.

"We feel it is unfortunate the State Government has not given EWLP that due consideration," EWLP's managing director, Shane Condon, said.

Mr Condon said the wrong decision would be an economic travesty for Queensland and the nation.

"There is a public duty to get this correct so it serves everyone and the country going forward," he said.

"We think there have been some terrible decisions made in the past and there are some terrible corridors being proposed for the future ... Our railway will be more productive, more efficient and has been carefully designed to benefit everyone in the region."

In a Referral of Proposed Action submitted to the Federal Government, EWLP states its corridor is designed to preserve valuable cropping and grazing land and make minimal encroachments on black soil flood plains - a concern raised by many landholders throughout this region.

It claims the other corridors add significant capital cost and operational and maintenance risks.

"Some of the other proposals are touting 26-tonne axle lines. That's like promoting an old Nokia brick, and it would mean an extra 500 trains a week," Mr Condon said.

He said he was concerned the Queensland Government may have made hasty decisions on the rail corridors in an attempt to look decisive.

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