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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Deputy Premier, Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Jeff Seeney

    Ex-gratia payments to land owners for rail uncertainty

    Deputy Premier, Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Jeff Seeney

    Wednesday, December 11, 2013

    Ex-gratia payments to land owners for rail uncertainty

    Ex-gratia payments will be made to affected landholders after the Queensland Government and Surat Basin Rail Joint Venture (SBRJV) reached a mutual agreement to end an exclusive mandate to develop a rail line from the proposed Wandoan thermal coal mine to Banana.

    Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney said under the 2006 mandate the State Government had been responsible for a range of matters, including the securing of a rail corridor to facilitate the project.

    “The 214-kilometre rail line proposed by joint venture partners Glencore (formerly Xstrata Coal), Aurizon and ATEC Rail Group would have linked the Surat Basin to the Port of Gladstone to allow the export of coal,” he said.

    “In return for State support, the joint venture partners committed to obtain necessary approvals, arrange for connection into the existing rail network and secure finance for the project.

    “However, in November 2012 the joint venture advised the State Government that due to global thermal coal market conditions and delays in other key projects in the Surat Basin coal supply chain, the timeframes for the rail project would be delayed.

    “Following this advice, the acquisition program for the rail corridor was discontinued by the state and all parties came to a mutual agreement to end the mandate.”

    Mr Seeney said in recognition of the unique nature of the mandate, the State Government intends making payments of up to $10,000 to eligible landholders along the proposed rail corridor.

    “This is a unique situation where property owners have been dealing with uncertainty for seven years and may continue to do so due to being within a declared State Development Area,” he said.

    “In recognition of the inconvenience and disruption caused, I have written to landowners in relation to the payment.

    “The payments do not relate to any statutory claims landowners may lodge with the Coordinator-General in relation to the discontinued acquisition program.

    “The State remains supportive of private development of a rail network to facilitate large scale coal mining in the Surat Basin and looks forward to working with all Surat Basin mining and infrastructure proponents in the assessment and progression of other rail projects.”

    [ENDS] 11 December 2013

    Media Contact: Jane Paterson 0417 281 754 or Elizabeth Spry 0418 928 744