ROAD, BRIDGE and telecommunications infrastructure pledges announced this week would help better connect Queensland and make it safer, easier and cheaper to get food from the paddock to the plate if implemented, AgForce said today.
The agricultural representative body’s Thriving Farms, Thriving Queensland plan outlines a series of policy priorities for rural Queenslanders in the upcoming State Election and the actions required to address them, with Connecting Queensland a key theme.
AgForce General President, Grant Maudsley, said it was pleasing to see some regional transport announcements from the major parties during the State Election campaign this week.
“Transport makes up 30 to 40 per cent of farmers’ production costs, so we need good infrastructure that makes it safer, easier and cheaper to get our farm goods from the paddock to the port and ultimately to the plate,” he said.
“We welcome the LNP’s pledge of $60 million towards 10 regional roads under the Beef Roads program, as well as the commitment of another $80 million toward 11 bridges under their Better Bridges program.
“With these investment announcements, three of AgForce’s priority routes would receive much needed attention:
- Bowenville-Moola Road: $1.5 million towards upgrades;
- Mundubbera-Durong Road: $15 million towards upgrades;
- Boyne River Bridge on the Mundubbera-Durong Road: $35 million towards bridge replacement.
“Labor has also unveiled its plans for a $1 billion a year Bruce Highway Trust, which would include $200 million of state funds, and the remaining 80 per cent requiring Federal Government funding.
“While upgrading the Bruce Highway is important, we’d like to see more commitments further west to help better connect regional and rural Queensland to the coast, as well as funding commitments from all parties to improve Queensland’s struggling regional rail network.”
Mr Maudsley said AgForce also welcomed the LNP’s pledge to spend $20 million to fix mobile phone black spots in the bush.
“With Queensland the most decentralised state in Australia, the need for better phone and internet services is one of the highest priorities for people living and working in regional, rural and remote areas,” he said.
“AgForce is calling for all levels of government and all sides of politics to work together to extend and improve services in Queensland, fix mobile phone black spots and increase the fixed wireless footprint for both NBN and third party providers.”
More details about AgForce’s Thriving Farms, Thriving Queensland election policy platform is available at www.agforceqld.org.au