The Central Queensland (QLD) regional coal industry has welcomed conditional approval for a QR Limited project linking the Moura-Gladstone line with the Aldoga Industrial precinct north of Gladstone.
The State’s Coordinator-General, Colin Jensen, has signed off on the project’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), with construction scheduled for late 2010.
The project has a capital value of $500 million and will require a construction workforce peaking at 350.
According to the QLD Government, around 700 new jobs will be created when the new facilities open.
The project includes a new rail link from the Moura Short Line into the Aldoga Industrial precinct north of Gladstone, and a rolling stock maintenance yard and provisioning facilities at Aldoga in the north of the Gladstone State Development Area.
“The North Coast line, just east of Yarwun, will also effectively quadruple in size to ensure more efficient movement of coal and freight in and out of Gladstone,” according to Premier Anna Bligh.
“These projects are needed to keep up with growing demand in the coal industry and it is that demand that proves this industry will continue to provide thousands of jobs no matter who owns the infrastructure that transports coal to our ports.”
The Coordinator-General’s Report recommends that the Moura Link-Aldoga Rail Project can proceed subject to a range of conditions.
According to Jensen, the new line will carry rail traffic from Moura and Surat in the south, diverting rail traffic through less-populated areas to the immediate north of greater Gladstone, to the existing North Coast line south-east of Mount Larcom.
The Moura-Aldoga project will be developed in parallel to, and service, a number of facilities, including the proposed new Wiggins Island Coal Terminal in the Port of Gladstone.
Subject to a formal development approval by Gladstone Regional Council and the Department of Infrastructure and Planning, and finalisation of some operational works approvals, construction is expected to begin in late 2010/early 2011, with operations starting two years later.
The Coordinator-General’s report can be viewed on the Department of Infrastructure and Planning’s website at www.dip.qld.gov.au/projects/transport/rail.html.