Palmer's company launches $8b lawsuit
MINING magnate Clive Palmer's China First company is launching an $8 billion lawsuit against rail operator QR National for competing with his plans to build a 500km rail link to carry coal.
Mr Palmer alleges a breach of confidentiality and misleading conduct over the planned rail link between the Galilee Basin coal region and the Central Queensland coast.
QR National's proposed Central Queensland Integrated Rail Project was announced last week, when the state government granted it significant project status.
It will link multiple mines in the Galilee and Bowen basins to coastal ports.
China First, a Clive Palmer-owned exploration and coal mine development company, says it is filing a damages claim in the Queensland Supreme Court against QR National.
The action seeks damages of $8 billion and injunctions against QR National.
It also seeks to stop relevant parties from dealing with QR National in respect of the Galilee Basin and its corridor and associated port facilities.
QR National is more than one-third owned by the Queensland government.
Mr Palmer accuses the state government, Labor Party and QR National of damaging his legal and commercial rights, including his plans for a rail corridor.
He says proponents of other projects should negotiate with him.
China First's proposed $8 billion thermal coal mine and infrastructure project in the Galilee Basin has also been granted significant project status by the Queensland Coordinator-General.
"Our China First Project will create 6,000 jobs during construction and will generate an estimated $4.6 billion per annum in export revenues once operational," China First's spokeswoman Baljeet Singh said.
"Now we have QR National, in conjunction with the Queensland government, claiming it can build the rail link and create hundreds of jobs in what looks like a bid to score some political mileage in the government's bid for re-election.
"This is an outrage as we had already been in commercial discussions and exchanges with QR National for co-operation in the joint development of rail and port facilities supporting the Galilee Basin."