Coal Railway to Cut Through Cattle Farm Property

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014
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Cattle farmer Andrew Rea says the Queensland government is holding a gun to his head with plans to build a coal railway line through his property.

Mr Rea, 66, has lived on a farm west of Bowen almost all his life and is furious with the state government plans to acquire part of his land to run the new line between the Galilee Basin and Abbot Point Port.

The acquisition will take place as part of the government’s deal with Indian firm Adani to build infrastructure that will enable the transportation of more than 100 million tonnes of coal per year.

Mr Rea is one of dozens of landholders whose property has been earmarked a State Development Area (SDA) under the deal.

The validity of these SDAs will be the focus of a parliamentary inquiry in Brisbane.

Mr Rea will give evidence at the inquiry and is calling on the government to remove the SDA and allow him to negotiate on proper commercial terms.

“How can I negotiate with somebody on commercial terms when they’ve got a gun to my head?” he told AAP on Wednesday.

“I’m not anti-mining, I’m not anti-development, I’m not anti-progress, but I am anti-the landholders copping the brunt of it.”

Mr Rea said that under the plan, 6km of railway line will cut through his grazing paddocks, making it difficult to tend his 3000 head of cattle.

“I can understand if they wanted to take some land for a hospital or school or something like that, but they are taking my asset off me to give to another company to earn money.

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