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Coordinator-General completes assessment of Galilee Coal project


Brisbane 9 August 2013. The Queensland Coordinator-General today released his evaluation report on the environmental impact statement and approved the $6.4 billion mine and rail components of the Galilee Coal Project (Northern Export Facility) in central Queensland.

The approval is subject to strict development and operating conditions.

To proceed the project will also require Commonwealth assessment and approval.

The Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney said the Coordinator-General’s evaluation report followed an extensive Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) study by Waratah Coal Pty Ltd.

The approved components of the Galilee Coal Project involve the development of a new coal mine and associated infrastructure located near Alpha in the Galilee Basin and a rail line between the mine and the Abbot Point State Development Area (APSDA).

The project is proposed to consist of a combination of open cut and underground mining.

It is projected to produce 40 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of thermal coal for export over an expected life of about 30 years.

“If the project were to proceed, it has the potential to create 3500 construction jobs and more than 2300 operational jobs.”

Coordinator-General Mr Barry Broe said the project is also being assessed in a parallel EIS under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999..

Mr Broe said the release of his evaluation report, including the conditional approval, came after more than four years of rigorous environmental assessment and public consultation.

"I have stated a significant number of conditions and recommendations in my report that the proponent must implement fully,” he said.

"The conditions establish clear principles and procedures to manage matters including surface and groundwater impacts, rail line flooding, and social impacts.”

Waratah has agreed to offset the loss of values of the Bimblebox Nature Refuge and the Coordinator-General has set conditions on this offset.

Mr Seeney said the Coordinator-General’s decision finalised the State environmental assessment process and he called on the Commonwealth Government to work with the proponent to expedite their assessment process.

“This is a significant step in a long and rigorous process,” he said.

"It is another major infrastructure decision for development of the Galilee Basin and I very much hope that the Commonwealth does not now hold up its approval and delay another vital project for the Queensland economy.

“The decision is in stark contrast to the Commonwealth delays and procrastination on project approvals.

“The current Coordinator-General has now made 175 statutory decisions since he was appointed, a rate of decision-making almost 3 times higher than the previous government, when 62 decisions were made over an equivalent period.

“You could not get a better indicator that we are delivering economic development and growth for Queensland,” he said.

[Link to the Coordinator-General's report:  www.dsdip.qld.gov.au/cg/galileecoalproject.html ]













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