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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    JOINT STATEMENT
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Anna Bligh
    Treasurer and Minister for Employment and Economic Development
    The Honourable Andrew Fraser

    SEAMLESS EXPORT CHAIN FOR FUTURE GROWTH

    JOINT STATEMENT

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    Treasurer and Minister for Employment and Economic Development
    The Honourable Andrew Fraser

    Tuesday, June 02, 2009

    SEAMLESS EXPORT CHAIN FOR FUTURE GROWTH

    Premier Anna Bligh has said the sale of Queensland Rail’s coal assets will maximise the amount of coal that Queensland can export to the world.

    Premier Bligh said the sale of the coal infrastructure assets, which will include train lines and associated infrastructure as well as Queensland Rail trains, would be structured to maximised the efficiency of Queensland’s rail-to-port network.

    "Our revitalised and reorganised coal freight system will have the capacity to move more coal to the world providing a greater return in royalties to the people of Queensland," she said.

    "For example a ‘package deal’ could offer the Goonyella through Newlands to Abbot Point rail system with the sale of Abbot Point Coal Terminal.

    "This structure will ensure the objectives of the port and the rail infrastructure providers are better aligned.

    "Under this ‘package deal’ the private sector would build the northern missing link infrastructure needed to take this system to the next level saving the tax payer $3.5 billion in future capital expenditure."

    The Abbot Point Coal Terminal sale alone is expected to earn more than $1.9 billion and combined with the associated rail infrastructure it will constitute an attractive package to investors.

    "Since it was commissioned in 1984, the port’s capacity has increased from 15 to 25 million tonnes per annum," said the Premier.

    "It will more than triple to 50 by the end of next year with longer-term plans to expand to 100.

    "The missing part of the puzzle – the 69 km Goonyella to Newlands rail line – will connect the coal rail network in north Queensland and feed even more coal through Abbot Point from central Queensland. "

    The Premier said trains on systems such as the Goonyella, Newlands, Blackwater & Moura systems would be sold separately to sale of infrastructure such as train lines and ports.

    "This will enhance competition in this important sector, which will get the best result for coal companies and the Queensland taxpayer," she said.

    Premier Bligh said the resources sector was expected to boom in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.

    "Right now private industry is investing in the Wiggins Island Coal Terminal and the Southern Missing Link.

    "That shows there is enormous potential for growth in the Queensland coal industry but we need substantial capital expenditure to maximise the growth potential in other areas.

    "Private industry is better placed to provide the investment that this sector needs," she said.

    Media contact: 07 32244500