Affected landholders on rail route to get payments

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

State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Minister Jeff Seeney said today 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.

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