Landholders want SDA scrapped, minister says it is needed

Jeff Seeney, Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning.
Jeff Seeney, Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning. Sharyn O'Neill

LANDHOLDERS are continuing their battle against the draft Galilee Basin State Development Area (SDA), calling on the State Government to formally reject it.

Yesterday the State Development Infrastructure and Planning Minister Jeff Seeney received a formal resolution on behalf of more than half the landholders in the SDA.

It covers 1.8million hectares across Central Queensland from Alpha to Bowen.

It would allow the government to acquire land for rail lines linking proposed coal mines in the Basin to the Abbot Point Coal Terminal on the Great Barrier Reef near Gladstone.

John Burnett owns a 60,000 hectare property, Frankfield, which will be cut in half by a rail corridor.

The spokesperson for landholders group Corridor to Coast said more than 62 properties were calling for Minister Seeney to withdraw the SDA on the grounds it would destroy their businesses.

"Uncertainty about future land use prevents investment and expansion and damages agricultural productivity," he said.

"The SDA looks after the interests of mining companies while trampling on the rights of landholders, farmers and communities in Central Queensland."

Mr Seeney said the development of the Galilee Basin was critically important to Queensland's economic future.

"Galilee Basin mines will create the next wave of resource sector employment in Queensland with the potential for these mines to create 28,000 jobs for Queenslanders.

"In saying that, this government is absolutely committed to reducing the impact of proposed rail lines on landholders and the environment.

"Environmental Impact Statements and the detailed design of rail line proposals must comprehensively address any predicted flooding impacts and demonstrate that the design of their projects will minimise impacts on overland water flow."

Public comment on the proposal is currently under consideration by the Mr Seeney's office, which is set to make a decision towards the end of this month.

Topics:  galilee basin jeff seeney mining state development area

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