Rail could provide 27,000 jobs, but mine will likely be FIFO

THE Queensland government has offered to build airports to facilitate fly-in, fly-out mines in the Galilee.

Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney announced on Monday the government would co-own a "common" rail line in the Galilee Basin with Adani Mining, developers of the proposed Carmichael coal mine, following G20 meetings with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Indian government-owned State Bank of India will provide a $1 billion credit line to Adani.

The project could create more than 27,000 jobs - but Mr Seeney said the mines would likely be fly-in, fly-out and the government was open to helping build airports to facilitate this.

In a statement Adani chief Jeyakumar Janakaraj said the government and State Bank of India agreements showed strong confidence in the project.

Mr Seeney said the government would take a minority stake, worth "hundreds of millions", in the project which they eventually planned to sell back to the miners.

"I think it's a great step forward for Queenslanders who will be looking for jobs in the decades to come," he said.

Mr Seeney rejected claims the agreement came as the world began to move away from fossil fuels only days after the United States and China agreed to reduce their carbon emissions.

"I think that everybody that's even got any sort or knowledge of the energy requirements around the world recognises that coal will play a major role in reducing the world's energy requirements for many, many years to come."

The other major Galilee Basin miner GVK Hancock confirmed it had on "ongoing dialogue" with the government regarding the proposed Alpha coal mine's infrastructure.

Opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said she was concerned about the agreement but would withhold comment until she fully examined it.

Mackay Conservation Group spokeswoman Ellen Roberts said the investment was at the expense of schools and hospitals and the development would harm the reef.

Similarly the Australian Marine Conservation Society condemned the investment stating it would result in harm to the Great Barrier Reef just days after United States President Barack Obama called for it to be better protected.

- APN NEWSDESK



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