Obviously concerned by the lack of progress, the state government has said that it is prepared to contribute to the construction of infrastructure, including rail links, to help open up the coal reserves, reportedly an amount of $A 1bn ($US 820m), providing the infrastructure is subject to an open access regime.
While the news of the possible funding first emerged with reference to Indian miner Adani, during a meeting between Queensland premier Mr Campbell Newman and Indian prime minister Mr Narendra Modi at the G20 summit in Brisbane, it was quickly clarified that the government is open to negotiating agreements with all proposed Galilee Basin miners and infrastructure providers.
Managing Director & CEO of Queensland-based railfreight operator Aurizon, Mr Lance Hockridge said, "Aurizon has received an invitation from deputy premier Jeff Seeney to participate in the new government funding mechanism, a move which we welcome."
Aurizon is working with GVK Hancock to develop rail and port infrastructure from the Galilee Basin to serve both GVK's mines and other miners via common-user infrastructure.
"Aurizon continues to work with GVK and the state government on its proposal for a railway that would join the existing Central Queensland coal network, enroute to expanded port facilities at Abbot Point," Hockridge says.
Earlier this year Adani entered into an agreement with Korean based Posco to design and construct a $A 2.2bn 388km standard-gauge railway to serve its coal reserves in the Galilee Basin.
Adani recently announced it had also signed a memorandum of understanding for loans of up to $US 1bn from the State Bank of India, a move that has drawn criticism from opposition parties in the Indian Parliament given reported close links between Adani and the Indian Government.
On December 16 the Queensland government announced that it would give Adani more time to finalise financing for the project.