Treasurer delivers coal asset certainty in uncertain times

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Image Credit: QRC's 2018-19 economic contribution report on coal
Media Release

The Queensland Resources Council has welcomed the decision of new Treasurer Cameron Dick to provide regulatory certainty for rail and port infrastructure so critical for the coal industry’s $52 billion economic contribution and more than 260,000 Queensland jobs.

QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said the Treasurer had declared the Central Queensland Coal Network (CQCN) and the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal (DBCT) as regulated monopolies until 2040 and 2030 respectively.

“The decision means these critical pieces of economic infrastructure will be under the independent regulatory oversight by the Queensland Competition Authority, which will set conditions on the access and pricing of these regulated monopoly businesses,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“This is not a small technical point. It gives our coal industry, which delivers $1 billion to the Queensland economy every week and employs 11% of Queenslanders in the workforce, greater regulatory certainty. With that greater regulatory certainty, industry can invest and employ more with confidence.”

“That is good news for Queensland and great news for Queensland jobs, at a time when we need them.”

“The resources sector has kept Queenslanders working through the COVID-19 response and we know that we can play a central role in Queensland’s COVID-19 recovery.”

The CQCN is a 2,670 kilometre multi-user track network, comprising four major coal systems and one connecting system serving Queensland’s Bowen Basin coal region: Newlands, Goonyella, Blackwater and Moura with Goonyella Abbot Point Expansion the connecting system link. It connects more than 50 mines to five major export ports, plus many domestic consumers.

The DBCT is one of two coal export terminals at the Port of Hay Point, located 30 km from Mackay. The Port of Hay Point is one of the world’s largest coal export ports, handling coal from over 30 mines in the Bowen Basin, Central Queensland—the source of more than 80% of Queensland’s coal production.

Mr Macfarlane said QRC had raised this issue with the Queensland Government in 2017, and welcomed Treasurer Cameron Dick’s decision.