Updated December 06, 2015 15:12:18

Central Queensland farmers are pushing for the State Government to enact significant alterations to legislation covering new mining projects in the Galilee Basin.

In 2012, mining firm GVK Hancock received state and federal approval to build a 500-kilometre rail line from its coal mines close to Alpha to Abbot Point in north Queensland.

The rail line is set to run via 39 properties, but legal challenges have delayed the project and there is no timeframe for the begin of building.

Grazier Doug Burnett said his house would be cut in half by the railway, but the uncertainty on timing was causing massive tension.

“You go round mustering the cows, riding on the horse and inevitably that’s what crops up in your mind when you’re riding along you are pondering what’s the future going to hold,” he mentioned.

“At the moment we are not permitted to do any improvement on these places… nor would we want to, since there’s no point going to construct a new fence line when maybe subsequent year there will be a railway line come through and wipe it out.

“It may be 5 years, it may be ten years time and that is part of the dilemma, we just never know.”

About 50 kilometres away on Double D Station, west of Moranbah, Shontae Moran is likewise worried about her family’s future when the GVK rail line is built.

The line will spilt her property into 4 segments.

They need to have to make some major changes so that rural farming families are protected from this sort of issue and the mining businesses know exactly where they stand as properly.

Doug Burnett, grazier

“Any individual who lives on the land, it really is a legacy, it really is anything you hope to pass on to your children, but it causes a lot of anxiety not really being aware of what you happen to be going to have to pass onto them.”

She mentioned numerous impacted landholders had reached breaking point.

“There is been mental health impacts exactly where men and women have had to seek support because of added layers of anxiety.”

But GVK Hancock spokesman Josh Euler mentioned the predicament was out of the company’s hands.

“A handful of anti-mining activists are making use of the courts to delay these projects, and it really is delaying us from obtaining to a point where we can finalise our financing arrangements and getting to the point of paying out these compensation offers and contractual arrangements with landholders,” he stated.

“So these anti-mining groups actually need to be held accountable.”

He stated the organization had reached compensation or contractual arrangements with about 75 per cent of impacted landholders, and had been waiting for legal instances to be finalised ahead of progressing with the next phase of the rail line.

‘The State Government has let us down’

Jo-Anne Bragg from the Environmental Defenders Workplace said court challenges had been an essential portion of the method.

“What is the point of having laws to defend the reef, to protect endangered species to shield ground water if they’re not enforced?” she stated.

“We require much more rigorous environmental assessment of mines before they are approved.

“We also need to have a lot more rigorous economic assessment, since mining organizations have been identified to usually exaggerate the financial advantage.”

Cattle in large dusty paddock, man on motorcycle mustering in the background Photo: Grazier Doug Burnett says the rail line has added uncertainty to the future of life on the land. (ABC News: Alyse Edwards)

The State Government said it was contemplating methods to make the method a lot more effective, and that although it supported people’s proper to their day in court, the approach must not be dragged out for years.

Mr Burnett said significant law changes have been necessary so mining and agriculture could co-exist.

“The State Government has let us down, has let rural landholders down,” he stated.

“I consider they’re letting sources companies down and they’re letting the state down in that these prospective projects aren’t receiving off the ground.

“I consider there is true problems in the legislation as it is that these difficulties are allowed to occur and drag on as they have.

“They want to make some main modifications so that rural farming families are protected from this sort of point and the mining companies know where they stand as effectively.”

Topics: mining-rural, mining-market, rail-transport, regional-improvement, beef-cattle, alpha-4724, rockhampton-4700, townsville-4810, gladstone-4680

Initial posted December 06, 2015 15:08:03

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