QR National has rejected Clive Palmer’s claims it breached confidentiality agreements with the miner after it was granted significant project status.
Late last month QR’s planned Central Queensland Integrated Rail Project (CQIRP) was declared a significant project by the state’s Co-ordinator General.
The proposed rail line would see it export coal from the Galilee Basin to central Queensland ports.
Clive Palmer’s China First yesterday reacted angrily to the announcement, claiming that the haulage company misled the miner over the proposed rail link between Galilee and QLD ports.
China First states that QR, of which the QLD Government is a stakeholder, has breached confidentiality agreements it had with the miner, adding that China First’s $8 billion coal mine and infrastructure program in the Galilee Basin was also granted significant status by the Queensland Co-Ordinator General.
"Now we have QR National in conjunction with the Queensland Government claiming it can build the rail link and create hundreds of jobs in what looks like a bid to score some political mileage in the government’s bid for re-election," China First spokesperson Baljeet Singh said.
"This is an outrage as we had already been in commercial discussions and exchanges with QR National for cooperation in the joint development of rail and port facilities supporting the Galilee Basin.
"We have advised the Coordinator-General of the improper use for which the subject significant project declaration regarding QR National has been made and reserve our rights against him and the Queensland Government," she said.
However the rail company has dismissed the statements.
"QR National strongly rejects these baseless assertions,” a spokesperson said.
It then declined to comment further on the matter.
Queensland treasurer Andrew Fraser has also urged LNP head Campbell Newman to "pull Palmer into line".
Palmer is a life member of the LNP and one of its major donors.
He reportedly sent a letter to the Co-Ordinator General accusing him of a conspiracy, a move which Fraser labelled ‘reprehensible’, according to The Trading Room.
"Mr Palmer believes he’s entitled to throw his weight around and make threats to public servants with legal consequences," Fraser said.
He further attacked Palmer on twitter @AndrewFraserMP, stating "Palmer reverts to type, McCarthyist conspiracy, threats, attempts to intimidate independent public officers. Newman must pull him into line".
Fraser then dismissed claims of a conspiracy, stating that "significant project status was given to a BHP rail proposal last year, QRN’s chief customer and competitor. Hardly a conspiracy".
Palmer is continuing with legal action.