Queensland's independent Coordinator General has approved the construction of a 300-kilometre rail line linking the proposed Carmichael coal mine west of Moranbah to the port of Abbot Point, potentially creating up to 2400 jobs in the region.
Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney said the approval of North Galilee Basin Rail Project is another key decision in unlocking the resource-rich Galilee Basin.
"The multi-billion dollar coal projects proposed for the Galilee Basin have the potential to create the next wave of resource sector jobs in Queensland and dramatically boost our state's coal exports," Seeney said.
"Our government's strong plan to develop this region will set Queensland up for the next 60 to 70 years, allowing us to invest in the schools, hospitals, roads and services we will need for future generations."
It's estimated the rail line will take about two years to build and potentially pump up to $790 million into the Mackay region and over $900 million into the state economy during its construction phase.
The proposed standard gauge greenfield rail line will cost $2.2 billion and be able to transport 100 million tonnes of coal a year.
Seeney said that upon approval of the project, the Coordinator General had imposed strict conditions on the construction and operation of the rail line to minimise possible impacts on the environment and landholders.
"These rigorous conditions protect flora and fauna and address surface water, air quality and noise emissions," he said.
"Proponents Adani must also develop an agreement with each affected landholder that stipulates how access will be maintained to homesteads, stock feeding areas and water supply."
"The company must also submit final rail design and revised flood modelling to the Coordinator-General for approval before construction commences."