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Issue #1644      June 25, 2014

Decision to extinguish landholders’ rights

The Lock the Gate Alliance has slammed a Queensland government decision that will allow land to be compulsorily acquired to facilitate rail lines from the Galilee Basin to Abbot Point in Central Queensland.

The State government has again announced a controversial and damaging decision last thing – this time the declaration of a huge new State Development Area (SDA).

Lock the Gate’s Central Queensland coordinator, Ellie Smith said landholders were “gutted by this terrible news”.

“The government has put hundreds of Central Queensland farming families into turmoil this weekend as they now wait to find out exactly how they’ll be affected,” Ms Smith said.

The government’s Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning published new maps that show the affected area on their website and called landholders but could not say exactly how each landholder would be impacted.

“The SDA means the state government will now be able to compulsorily acquire land to facilitate ill-advised rail lines for unprofitable mines in the Galilee Basin,” Ms Smith said.

Ms Smith said the SDA would:

  • Decrease property values – essentially only one buyer – the state government
  • Not require companies to negotiate reasonable access agreements, or coexistence strategies
  • Increase red tape for making improvements to properties
  • Disallow property improvements that are incompatible with potential rail infrastructure.

“Construction of any rail line from the Galilee Basin is, at best, years away but landholders will be dealing with the effects of this SDA from today,” she said.

Next article – School choice – a free market theology

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