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Issue #1665      November 19, 2014

Qld government footing the bill for Galilee rail line

The Queensland government’s agreement to sink tax-payers’ money into the controversial Carmichael coal project railway line to the Galilee Basin is an expensive waste of money that threatens irreversible damage to water resources in Queensland.

Lock the Gate Alliance says Premier Campbell Newman’s announcement that the government would fund the rail line to ensure the Carmichael coal mine goes ahead plumbs new depths in the government’s perverse support for the mining industry, against the interests of Queensland primary producers and the interests of the public more broadly.

Lock the Gate Queensland Campaign coordinator, Kate Dennehy said Premier Newman had not confirmed how much the taxpayers were giving to the project.

“This apparent blank cheque shows that mining companies are running Queensland,” she said. “The litany of concessions and sweet deals the Queensland government keeps throwing at the Galilee Basin keeps growing.

“They’ve offered them land grabs, free water, royalty concessions, and now they’re taking the extraordinary step of sacrificing Queensland tax-payers’ money on this highly damaging and unwelcome project.

“Nobody but Campbell Newman, Jeff Seeney and a couple of Indian billionaires wants this coal mined. It’s dirty, expensive, and will come at the cost of enormous quantities of ground and river water than Queensland can hardly afford to sacrifice.

“The Newman government is prepared to waste taxpayers’ money, ruin the environment, trash family farms and communities for mines the world knows has no future.”

In another “free kick” a report is expected from a parliamentary committee inquiry into the latest Bill to provide concessions to coal mines. The Water Reform and Other Legislation Bill is slated to allow the Galilee mine proponents, and all other coal miners in Queensland, to take billions of litres of groundwater without having to obtain licences under water resource plans.

Lock the Gate is backing the ‘Queensland People’s Bill’ to bring back fairness and democracy to this state through the re-introduction of the defunct Upper House. We will hold a Q&A event about the Queensland People’s Bill at the Old Museum on November 29 with politicians and leading experts on the panel.

Detailed reports on GVK and Adani mines by the Energy Resource Studies Australasia at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) here: www.ieefa.org/category/reports

Next article – Little man drowning in big politics

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