Aurizon

The announcement on February 9 that Aurizon will withdraw its application to the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) to construct a rail link between the Abbot Point coal terminal and the Galilee Basin was welcomed by opponents of the Adani Carmichael coal project.

Coordinator of Farmers for Climate Action Queensland Michael Kane was heartened by the setback to the rail line. He said graziers across central Queensland had been put through the wringer over this mega coal mine project.

As 2017 drew to a close the climate movement had much to celebrate. Hard fought campaigns directed at potential financial backers had resulted in Adani’s Carmichael coalmine being a far less certain prospect as one by one financial options dissolved.

With major financial institutions in Australia and overseas ruling out support for the project, Adani had pinned its hopes on China as a possible funding source as well as a market for Galilee Basin coal. In spite of the Australian government oiling the wheels for a deal, all major Chinese banks backed away in the end.

Rail freight operator Aurizon has told workers that about 100 jobs will be cut in north Queensland next month, according to the Rail Tram and Bus Union (RBTU).

The union says the cuts, which affect workers from Townsville to Gladstone, come on top of 200 jobs that the company has already shed over the past year.

RTBU northern manager Les Moffitt said the move affected coal and wagon maintenance which could not afford to lose more staff.

The company said it would be offering voluntary redundancies, while looking at retraining and relocating staff where possible.

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