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3 September, 2020

Queensland's transport arteries need an urgent transfusion

IT'S NO EXAGGERATION to say that Queensland's transport infrastructure is its lifeblood.

By AgForce CEO, Michael Guerin

We are one of Australia's largest, most geographically diverse, and most highly regionalised states; our transport network is what connects us with each other, our markets, and the rest of the world.

Queensland transports more agricultural produce by road than any other state: to markets, feedlots, sale yards, abbatoirs, and ports.

To capitalise on our significant natural advantages in agriculture, resources, tourism, and workforce, regional Queensland needs world-class transport infrastructure that meets a variety of needs.

Whether it's getting product to market or port, vital supplies to the farm, or the kids to school, Queensland relies on a fast, efficient and affordable transport system.

If regional industries and communities are to resuscitate the national economy post-COVID, as suggested by national and state governments, our arteries will need a major transfusion.

We need more investment in roads, rail, and ports.

In agriculture, transport represents up to half of a producer's costs - yes, more than feed, seed, chemicals, and workforce put together.

The Government has recently announced a flurry of major road projects that will benefit regional cities and regional tourism. 

This is very welcome. But, we implore the Government to also consider less high-profile but equally important projects that will benefit agriculture, our farming communities, and the economy more generally.

These include: 

  • Improved access to the Port of Gladstone;
  • Solving curfew issues with the Rockhampton abattoir at Port Alma;
  • Closing the missing links in our road supply chain, including numerous bridges and culverts, small fixes that would open up vital routes.

Analysis has shown that producers, their communities, and their regions benefit from economically sensible road, rail, and port infrastructure investment. 

We need the Government to see it too. Ordinary Queenslanders can help achieve this by getting behind AgForce's Stand With Regional Queensland campaign to support better roads for all.

Let's get regional Queensland's blood pumping again. 

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