PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Mineral freight exporters in Queensland are now able to apply for the A$80-million Mt Isa Line incentive, after the Queensland government released guidelines and application forms.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said that the four-year Mount Isa Line subsidy would support the growth of the mining industry in the state’s north west.
“We know how important the North West Minerals Province is to the resources sector and how important that sector is for regional employment, exports and economic growth,” Palaszczuk said.
“In the year to September 2019, Queensland’s exports topped A$87.6-billion. Investing in this region, where 75% of the state’s base metal and mineral deposits are, is crucial to growing this figure and supporting local jobs.
“As part of this year’s State Budget released in June, my government announced A$20-million in annual funding for four years in incentives for commercial freight users on the Mount Isa Line.
“Since this time we have been working with Queensland Rail and industry on the best approach to implement the scheme. After holding two consultation workshops in Townsville, in September, and Brisbane, in October, and receiving industry feedback, the implementation arrangements have been finalised.”
Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad said the Mount Isa Line incentive scheme would make rail freight more competitive and incentivise a shift from road freight to rail on one of Queensland’s most important freight routes.
Trad said the rail payments would be paid to eligible participants on a quarterly basis.
“The Mount Isa Line is critical for servicing the mining industry and this investment will help existing mining operators get their resources to the Port of Townsville for export as well as encourage new investment in the state’s north west.
“We have made significant repairs on the 300 km of track on the Mount Isa Line damaged during February’s unprecedented flood event, to ensure that north west Queensland has reliable transport infrastructure.
“The scheme will be administered by Transport and Main Roads, with the first quarterly payment commencing at the end of this year, backdated from July 1, 2019.”