AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Gladstone inland rail link could tap more coal export riches

<p>An extension linking Gladstone to the proposed Melbourne-Brisbane inland rail option could open up new coal reserves in Queensland’s Surat Basin.</p> <p>Proponents of the inland rail option and mining industry members say vast deposits in the basin have not previously been viable because of the lack of efficient transport and low coal prices, Brisbane’s <em>Courier Mail</em> reported.</p> <p>Australian Transport and Energy Corridor chairman Everald Compton told the paper a proposal was already before the Queensland Government for an upgrade of the existing line from Toowoomba to the coal basin plus a new 220-km link on to Gladstone.</p> <p>The proposal would be worth around $750m, he said.</p> <p>Queensland Resources Council chief executive Susan Johnston believes the link has merit as Surat Basin projects now look more viable. </p> <p>"You look now in a changed environment with that strong demand from China expected to come over the next 10 years and in that context you have to take a serious look at it," she said.</p> <br />