Aurizon workers lay track in central Queensland.
Aurizon workers lay track in central Queensland.

Rival to Adani’s rail line gains traction

A rival rail line into the coal-rich Galilee Basin is gaining traction with the Palaszczuk Government not ruling out vetoing the move to seek a federal government loan.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce told The Courier-Mail the proposal by rail giant Aurizon should be seriously considered, now that Indian miner Adani has been blocked from receiving concessional loan from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF).

Aurizon plans to build a common-user rail line from proposed mines in the Galilee Basin - including Adani's Carmichael coal project - and connect to its existing network.

Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce says now the NAIF loan has been vetoed by Palaszczuk Government, a similar loan should be considered for Aurizon. Picture: Kym Smith
Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce says now the NAIF loan has been vetoed by Palaszczuk Government, a similar loan should be considered for Aurizon. Picture: Kym Smith

Mr Joyce said the LNP should be criticised for making the case for a rail line a "discussion about an Indian mining company", instead of a "discussion about the Galilee Basin and jobs".

"Joh (Bjelke-Petersen) developed the central Queensland coalfields, the Surat Basin, and immense wealth came into Queensland," Mr Joyce said.

"You can't dress it up, they (the LNP) didn't develop a message and they didn't sell a message. I don't think the message about the Galilee Basin was wrong, but I think when you spend the whole time talking about Adani you probably lose people.

"If it's in northern Australia, and they've got a business that can pay the money back, get onto it."

Aurizon’s proposal for a rival Galilee Basin freight line should be considered, Barnaby Joyce says.
Aurizon’s proposal for a rival Galilee Basin freight line should be considered, Barnaby Joyce says.

It comes after Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk dropped a bombshell during the election campaign by announcing she would veto the loan from the NAIF to Adani to build a common-user rail line.

Under the constitution, federal government funding to a private company must be facilitated by the state government.

When asked whether it would also block the Aurizon application, a spokesman for the Queensland Government said: "Any other NAIF matters will be given proper consideration and assessed on their merits."

A spokesman for Aurizon said it submitted an application to NAIF in March this year and discussions about any loan were commercial-in-confidence.

 

 

Aurizon’s proposal for a rival Galilee Basin freight line should be considered, Barnaby Joyce says.
Aurizon’s proposal for a rival Galilee Basin freight line should be considered, Barnaby Joyce says.


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