AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Hockridge welcomes Queensland?s commitment to Galilee

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> Aurizon chief executive Lance Hockridge says the Queensland Government’s commitment to support rail infrastructure projects in the Galilee Basin is a welcome development. </span> <p>Queensland premier Campbell Newman last week said the state will contribute to the construction of open access infrastructure to help open up the region to coal mining and exports.<br /><br />He said Queensland is prepared to take a short-term, financial stake in the rail, port or other infrastructure, and confirmed it is open to negotiating agreements with all proposed Galilee Basin miners and infrastructure providers.<br /><br />Hockridge received a formal proposal from deputy premier and minister for infrastructure and planning Jeff Seeney last week.<br /><br />“Aurizon received an invitation from deputy premier Jeff Seeney to participate in the new government funding mechanism, a move which we welcome,” Hockridge said.<br /><br />“The Queensland Government has provided a mandate for two corridors, one from north to south and one from east to west. Aurizon continues to work with GVK and also the State Government on its proposal for a railway that would join the existing Central Queensland coal network, en route to expanded port facilities at Abbot Point.”<br /><br />Aurizon is progressing with GVK Hancock to acquire 51% interest in Hancock Coal, which holds the Abbot Point T3 port project and Galilee Basin rail project.<br /><br />The Queensland-based rail operator believes it can save money by utilising its existing network in the plan for a rail line through the Galilee.<br /><br />“We believe a combined greenfield-brownfield railway that saves an estimated $1 billion plus capital costs compared to a full greenfield railway is a compelling commercial and operational solution for a range of miners in this market environment,” Hockridge said.</p>