A planned rail project in Queensland will be a major boost for the local economy, the state government has said.
The $2.2 billion North Galilee Basin rail project will see the construction of a 300km rail line between the proposed Carmichael coal mine and the Abbot Point coal port.
Queensland’s co-ordinator general has now approved the release of an environmental impact statement (EIS) and encouraged the public to provide feedback on the initiative.
Jeff Seeney, the state’s deputy premier and infrastructure minister, said the scheme will help the government to deliver on its promise of strengthening the resources pillar of the economy.
“If ultimately approved, this proposed rail project will have the ability to carry 100 million tonnes of coal per year, create up to 1,700 jobs during construction and almost 370 jobs once operational,” he explained.
“Projects like this will help to supercharge the economy after years of Labor’s economic mismanagement and neglect.”
Mr Seeney said rigorous independent assessment processes were undertaken by the co-ordinator general to ensure that any rail growth is carried out in an environmentally responsible manner.
The Commonwealth will also be completing its own analysis of the environmental effects of the project, after indicating that the railway construction could have a significant national impact.
Both the federal and Queensland governments agreed to a joint release of the EIS for the public’s consideration.
“We have made it clear that we want to develop the Galilee Basin’s coal reserves but in a planned and orderly way as can be seen by the recent release of the Galilee Basin Development Strategy,” Mr Seeney said.
The consultation period for the railway engineering project will begin on December 16 2013. All submissions must be made to the co-ordinator general’s office by 5pm on February 11 next year. You can make a submission here.