North Galilee rail acquisitions begin for 16 landholders

SIXTEEN landholders between Mistake Creek, near Moranbah, and Abbot Point will soon be approached to begin land acquisition negotiations for the controversial North Galilee Basin rail line.

Queensland co-ordinator-general Barry Broe is expected to communicate directly with the 16 private landholders whose properties will be affected during construction of the proposed North Galilee Basin Rail Project, which received State Government approval earlier this month.

Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney told Queensland Parliament that securing land was critical to the project to succeed and the co-ordinator-general would update the 16 private landholders on the process ahead.

He said the landholders and the community could be assured that the minimum land needed for the corridor was "generally only 60 to 100 metres wide".

Mr Seeney said Adani - which is now awaiting federal approval - would negotiate with landowners "to reach a marketplace-based commercial agreement" the co-ordinator-general formally acquired the land on those terms and then leased it back to Adani to operate the railway.

"It is important that the process of land acquisition is made clear to give both the proponent and the landowners more certainty of the process ahead and to allow more time for them to finalise their agreements through commercial negotiations before the coordinator-general begins the formal process," he said.

The $2.2 billion rail line will link Adani's recently approved Carmichael coal mine, west of Rockhampton, to the port near Bowen.

The rail line could transport about 100 million tonnes of coal a year, is expected to create more than 2000 jobs and could inject almost $800 million into the central Queensland economy.

The co-ordinator-general imposed conditions to address groundwater, air quality and flora and fauna protection issues raised in opposition to it.

The mandatory land acquisitions have been particularly controversial.

Mr Seeney told parliament that the Galilee Basin projects would generate "enormous" returns to pay for the schools and hospitals that Queenslanders will need into the future.

"The development of the proposed mines such as Alpha, Kevin's Corner and the Carmichael mine have the potential to deliver up to 28,000 new jobs for Queenslanders, 15,000 construction jobs and over 13,000 operational jobs," he said. - APN NEWSDESK

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