The Queensland Co-ordinator General has declared the Central Queensland Integrated Rail Project (CQIRP) as a “significant project”, clearing the way for QR National to embark on the environmental impact statement.


The proposed multi-user railway would service the emerging needs of the Galilee coal basin by providing access to the ports of Central Queensland.


QR National will now progress community and stakeholder consultation as part of the environmental impact statement.


“This is a proposal that will optimise existing rail infrastructure and minimise construction of greenfield railway with its inherent cost and community impacts,” said Ken Lewsey, Executive Vice President Strategy & Business Development, QR National.


“By consolidating tonnages and working with several companies, QR National can deliver a commercially viable and operationally efficient rail infrastructure solution.


Mr Lewsey said the Co-ordinator General’s statement enabled the proposal to progress to the next stage involving discussions with the community as well as key stakeholders in the coal supply chain.


As well as servicing major coal deposits in the Galilee Basin, the project could also cater for coal mine expansions in the existing Bowen Basin.


This proposal is in addition to Bowen Basin expansions already under consideration or in progress, including the Wiggins Island Rail Project and the Hay Point Expansion.


QR National is in on-going discussions with a range of companies planning to export coal from both the Galilee Basin and the Bowen Basins.


The Central Queensland Integrated Rail Project is subject to completion of the environmental impact assessment and economic feasibility studies.