Harry Bruce take on Adani's plans
Harry Bruce take on Adani's plans Contributed

Accelerated Carmichael mine good for region

ADANI'S plans to accelerate delivery of the Carmichael coalmine has been welcomed by politicians and industry leaders.

The Indian mining giant announced on Thursday it had abandoned its plan to build an entire new rail line into the Galilee Basin and will instead dramatically reduce costs by using part of the existing Queensland network.

Adani will no longer build a 388km standard gauge rail link from its Abbot Point coal terminal into the mine, instead it will build a 200km narrow gauge line from the Galilee Basin, which would link into Aurizon's existing line just north of Eaglefield.

The original rail project was expected to cost $2.3 billion, however, it is understood the new design could halve the construction cost.

Burdekin MP Dale Last said the decision would be welcomed in regional Queensland.

"If I had my way, the work would start tomorrow because the environmental conditions have been met, the agreements with landholders are in place and this is a great opportunity for the whole state," he said.

"Accelerating the project means more jobs sooner than expected and we need every job we can get."

Resource Industry Network general manager Adrienne Rourke said it was positive news for the sector.

Maggie McKeown, of Mackay Conservation Group, one of Adani's most strident detractors, said the revamped rail line proves the company is serious about building the mine.

"But their environmental history shows the miner can't be trusted to operate safely," she said. "The Queensland government must stop this rogue company before Adani destroys Queensland's water and precious natural environment."