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Central Queensland coal infrastructure managers have welcomed the Queensland Government's commitment to build the Northern Missing Link.
Queensland Rail says it has reached an agreement to build the 69-kilometre rail link, connecting the Bowen Basin coal fields with Abbot Point coal terminal.
Work is expected to start on the billion-dollar project next year.
Phil Bourne from the Integrated Logistics Company, which oversees the supply chain to the Dalrymple Bay terminal, says it is a great opportunity for the whole industry.
"This is great news for the coal chain, it gives us another arrow in our quiver of options, it also gives the producers more options, it gives them another terminal to consider," he said.
"I think it's a very positive step, it's been a long time coming.
"Whilst it's not built yet I think everybody will see that it's a very positive marker for the coal industry."
Meanwhile, Townsville Enterprise is questioning the motives behind the Government's decision to go ahead with the link.
Enterprise chief executive Trevor Goldstone says the timing of the decision is curious, given that Abbot Point is one of the government assets that is up for sale.
"I see this as perhaps an opportunistic development of the rail line that will add to the value of the asset and therefore the return they get somewhere down the track," he said.
Mr Goldstone says an upgrade of the Townsville to Mt Isa rail link is far more important.
"It's good news that [the] Government is investing in rail infrastructure, but it's a little bit curious that we feel the more important link, which is the Townsville-Mt Isa rail line, doesn't seem to be getting the same level of focus and attention," he said.
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