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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Paul Lucas

    Southern Missing Link a Step Closer

    Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Paul Lucas

    Thursday, April 17, 2008

    Southern Missing Link a Step Closer

    The proposed billion-dollar Southern Missing Link railway has moved a step closer, with the draft Terms of Reference for the Environmental Impact Statement now open to public comment.

    Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Paul Lucas today told Parliament the rail project will link the Surat Basin's vast coal reserves with Gladstone's port facilities.

    "The State Government is determined to see the Southern Missing Link built, it is a vital project that will help secure Queensland's economic future," said Mr Lucas.

    "This 207 kilometre link in the rail network will connect the Surat Basin's 6.3 billion tonnes of coal reserves to the Port of Gladstone.

    "It will open up the economy of the Surat Basin region in the south-western part of Queensland to become a future powerhouse.

    "The Southern Missing Link will mean this region can fulfil its export potential for coal and other possible future mineral and agricultural products.

    “A number of large-scale mining and energy projects are proposed over the coming years which could create significant new employment and business opportunities for local communities such as Chinchilla, Miles and Wandoan.

    "This new link will do for Southern Inland Queensland what the Blackwater, Goonyella and Newlands systems have done for the Bowen Basin.

    "If it proceeds, construction on this billion dollar railway will employ up to 600 workers for 30 months."

    The Coordinator-General is overseeing a whole of Government response to this key piece of infrastructure, to ensure the project's assessment is both thorough and timely.

    “Coordinator-General Colin Jensen has advised that public submissions can now be lodged on the draft Terms of Reference for the Environmental Impact Statement,” Mr Lucas said.

    "I encourage the community to have their say on the environmental, social and economic issues that should be investigated for this important railway.

    "In 2006 the State Government granted an exclusive mandate to a consortium to develop the Surat Basin Railway through to financial close by mid 2010.

    "The Surat Basin Rail Consortium includes the Australian Transport and Energy Corridor, Industry Funds Managements, Queensland Rail, Xstrata Coal and Anglo Coal.

    "This EIS process will require the consortium to outline the area’s existing state, identify any potential impacts and strategies to minimise them.

    “The proposed rail corridor largely follows existing road reserves, most notably the Leichhardt Highway, Nathan Road and Cracow-Theodore Road, to join existing Queensland Rail lines at Wandoan and Banana.”

    Public consultation will occur until May 16. For information on the draft Terms of Reference and advice on how to make a submission, visit the Department of Infrastructure and Planning’s website www.dip.qld.gov.au/eis

    Media contact: Robert Hoge 0419 757 868 or Matthew Klar 0437 435 223