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SDA would cover the whole of 10,660ha Double D Station

UNITED FRONT: Shontae Moran (left) pictured at a meeting in Clermont in March  where landholders voted to reject the SDA.
UNITED FRONT: Shontae Moran (left) pictured at a meeting in Clermont in March where landholders voted to reject the SDA.

FOR Shontae Moran, uncertainty is the worst part about being covered by the Galilee Basin SDA.

It would completely cover the whole of her 10,660ha property near Clermont, Double D Station, and include 19km of a rail corridor for a Hancock/ Aurizon mine, if it is approved.

The government has said once they get a "first mover" they will reduce the size of the SDA, but at this stage no one is certain when this would be, with projects still in the approvals stage.

Shontae firmly believes the SDA is not necessary.

"Those mines already have in place the ability to acquire land should negotiations fail with landholders, they already have a huge amount of power to be able to do that," she said. "The SDA will give them leverage over landholders that's unnecessary; there's already existing legislation to be able to do without impacting the entire value of an asset.

"If they announce it on the scale that it is, given the uncertainty as to whether any projects will progress, it's incredible that they believe it won't have an impact on your land and your capacity to borrow in times of drought."

Shontae said one of the their biggest issues was the projects were all proposing rail corridors across the Belyando flood plain.

"I can't get my head around the fact that Queensland is about to spend millions on flood-proofing the cities, but they can't wait to approve major infrastructure across flood plains," she said.

Shontae believes country west of the Belyando River would be more economical for a railway line, despite its costing more to build initially, because it would not be at risk of flooding.

However, that area is not included in the State Development Area.

The SDA would also mean landholders would have to get approval from the Co-ordinator General for a material change of use for their land, like developing cropping land or executing water schemes.

"We had plans in place to start making paddocks smaller and move towards more economical use of feed with rotations grazing and improve the carrying capacity to reduce the impact on land with cattle, but this has slowed that down for years," she said.

Topics:  clermont galilee basin state development area