THE SEALING of a section of the Clermont to Alpha Road is a welcome step towards delivering on an important national initiative that will make it safer and easier to transport cattle to markets, AgForce said today.
AgForce transport committee chairman, Leo Neill-Ballantine, said Queensland transported the largest volume of cattle in Australia by road over long distances for supply to markets, feedlots, sale yards, abattoirs and ports, so funding for improved transport networks was always warmly welcomed.
“Queensland is home to about half of Australia’s cattle herd and employs about 20,000 Queenslanders, so an investment in the industry is an investment in the state’s future,” he said.
“The Federal Government’s Beef Roads program will provide a massive boost to the Queensland cattle industry by reducing transport costs and improving safety on key freight routes, such as the Clermont to Alpha Road.
“We are particularly pleased that the $8 million announced for this road today comes on top of $125 million announced yesterday to seal and widen parts of the Outback Way, which runs from Western Australia through the Northern Territory and into Queensland.”
Mr Neill-Ballantine said the need for better regional road and rail infrastructure was a key priority in AgForce’s “Thriving Farms, Thriving Queensland” State Election platform.
“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.
AgForce’s “Thriving Farms, Thriving Queensland” election policy platform is available at www.agforceqld.org.au