The Queensland Beef Corridors (QBC) group, representing seven Central Queensland councils, is pleased to see a $400 million investment in road network upgrades survive the scrutiny of the Independent Strategic Review of the Infrastructure Investment Program.
Kerry Hayes, the Mayor of Central Highlands Regional Council and spokesperson for QBC, expressed the group’s appreciation and commitment to remain engaged in the planning stages.
“Reviewing and allocating these investments is challenging, but crucial,” he said.
“Our focus on aligning our supply chain and freight logistics needs and strategic long-term infrastructure planning has proven to be successful and having the investment recognised by the review underscores the importance of Central Queensland’s agricultural sector to our nation.”
Mayor Hayes also acknowledged the strong support from the state government, which included beef corridors in their budget, contributing to the project despite federal review.
The QBC group is eager to progress to the planning stage and continue its collaborative efforts with the Queensland Government.
“Our goal is to engage in strategic, collaborative planning and prioritisation of works. By working closely with the state government, councils can ensure efficient project delivery and best use of resources,” Mayor Hayes said.
“We are optimistic about pre-planning, project management and works prioritisation, and excited to explore innovative approaches and see local governments play a vital role in this.
“Today is a positive day for QBC mayors, communities and local producers. The investment in Queensland Beef Corridors, a vital network for our beef industry and other local sectors, is a step towards a more sustainable industry.”
Reflecting onthe advocacy campaign initiated at Beef Australia in 2021, Mayor Hayes said:
“Many people have worked on and advocated for these road upgrades, and their contributions are invaluable. From infrastructure engineer to economic development staff and local residents, their efforts have been crucial.”
QBC brings together a program of $809M of works in total, comprising nine sections, or 457 kilometres, of unsealed beef feeder roads as a priority for sealing to achieve improved access, as well as upgrading three heavy vehicle corridors for access to processing facilities and the Port of Gladstone. Seven local governments got together to seek the funding on an 80/20 split from the Queensland and Australian Governments, launching their campaign at Rockhampton’s Beef Australia event in May 2021. The councils included: Rockhampton, Gladstone, Barcaldine, Isaac and Central Highlands Regional Councils, as well as Woorabinda Aboriginal and Banana Shire Councils.