The Government said that 1.92 million metric tons of coal passed through Abbot Point during July. Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls said that the state’s coal industry has made a record recovery from this year’s floods.
The torrential rain from tropical cyclone Oswald in January caused widespread damage to coal haulage rail lines in central Queensland, including the Moura to Gladstone line, which was closed for more than a month.
However, Nicholls said that the volume of coal exported from Queensland in the last financial year reached its second highest level on record. He said that the state government’s controversial mine water release scheme has been a boost for the economy.
“We improved accessibility and we moved very quickly after the 2013 floods to make sure that the railways were operating again and the ports were operating again,” he said. “I think Gladstone itself was out of action for something less than 36 hours, so that’s not a bad outcome in terms of being able to respond quickly to these natural disasters.”
Nicholls said the coal export volumes in the 2012 to 2013 financial year were at their highest level in three years. “For the time that we were out of production perhaps around the USD 200 to 300 million mark, that’d be the value of lost production as a result of the 2013 post Oswald floods,” he said. “That’s the impact of it but because we’ve been able to get those mines operational again, get the coal to the ports again and because the Port of Gladstone seems to be going quite well, we’ve got those volumes and record volumes for the month of July.”