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A north Queensland community facing millions of tonnes of extra rail being hauled through their town demands answers from policy makers.
There are calls for planners to consider the effects on the town's 1,200 residents, with worries the freight might lead to frustrating and dangerous road delays.
Already dozens of coal trains pass through the town, 180 kilometres south of Townsville, each day to the Abbot Point Coal Terminal, impacting road traffic at level crossings.
Landowner Garry Reed has spent years fighting a planned diversion of Coral Creek near his farm, for an expansion of QCoal's Sonoma Mine.
Mr Reed said there could be a major impact on the town from the Carmichael mine, with plans to produce 10 million tonnes of coal annually.
"Certainly I know that people in town close to the railway line have got an issue and people have been trying to lobby to get a diversion put around the town," Mr Reed said.
"Even without the Adani mine, the traffic from the Barwon mine is going to increase to the point where it's already too great, the diversion should already be in as far as I'm concerned.
Local wildlife carer Carol Cosentino said the impact of the coal freight was significant for neighbouring landholders.
"I can see a problem for the residents next to the railway line with noise, vibration, dust — it's going to change their lives," Ms Cosentino said.
Freight access woesAdani originally planned to build a new standard-gauge link between the Galilee Basin and Abbot Point with the assistance of a $900 million loan, via the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility [NAIF].
But an alternative was developed by the Indian miner to reduce costs, after Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk vetoed Adani's NAIF application citing a conflict of interest involving a family member.
Plans for a 200-kilometre link to the existing Aurizon-operated, narrow-gauge Newlands line are yet to be submitted in full to the State Government.
The issue of coal traffic is not new, with residents upset at the additional traffic planned for the line staging a protest in 2010, closing the railway for 24 hours and demanding then-operator QR National bypass the town.
Collinsville-born Whitsunday Regional Councillor Mike Brunker said residents had a right to demand solutions to cope with potentially longer coal trains to be used by Adani.
"I think a standard train might be 1.3 kilometres, the Adani train because they've got to shift more will be over 2 kilometres long," Cr Brunker said.
"That has a flow-on effect … parts of the town will be cut off for longer because the trains are longer.
Cr Brunker said the former Bligh Government gave an undertaking a re-alignment would be required once 50 million tonnes of coal freight was reached.
"Whoever owns the rail track will definitely be up for a deviation of Collinsville," he said.
Capacity not reachedA spokesman for Aurizon said the Newlands corridor's current capacity was 50 million tonnes per annum.
Last financial year about 30 million tonnes was carried on the corridor, meaning Adani's 10 million tonne Carmichael production would increase freight by a third.
The Aurizon spokesman said in the event of a company seeking access to its network, the company would consider whether sufficient capacity existed to meet the request or make an assessment of any expansion that may be required.
Adani Australia said in a statement the upgrades to the existing network were a matter for network owner Aurizon.
A spokeswoman said Adani had submitted its Conceptual Operating Plan and was working through the regulatory process to access the existing network.
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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