Seven Mayors from across Central and Western Queensland will descend on Beef Week in Rockhampton on Wednesday to launch a determined campaign to ensure their cattle industry – worth a collective $1.7 billion a year – can continue to grow.
The Gladstone, Isaac, Banana, Central Highlands, Woorabinda, Barcaldine and Blackall-Tambo Mayors have joined forces to call for action from the State and Federal governments to upgrade Queensland’s Beef Corridors – a strategic supply chain of roads stretching more than 2000km across Central and Western Queensland that are vital to ensuring this crucial industry can continue to grow.
Central Highlands Mayor Kerry Hayes said he and his fellow mayors were calling for help to address the missing links in the road network.
“We already have a strong commitment from the State and Federal governments to improve key freight routes and connectivity between agricultural regions and ports,” Mayor Hayes said.
“But on a local level, our producers are suffering daily because there are too many neglected links in our transportation network.
“They experience the flow-on effects of these gaps every day. It is detrimental to locals running effectively running their businesses and it is holding our industry back.
“These feeder roads are our missing links and to get them sealed and up to a standard, we are asking for a staged, $400 million investment to give our communities and the industry the confidence it needs.
“Our council areas and communities are the beating heart of the Central and Western Queensland beef industry and these strategic routes are its arteries.
“If we want this industry to grow and generate much-needed jobs and economic activity then we need to ensure the future health of this critical road network.”
Upgrading these networks will benefit more than the beef industry. It will rebuild towns and communities across the region.
“The aim of the Queensland Beef Corridors campaign is to eliminate road disruption and the added logistical costs substandard roads create.
“Our producers, businesses and communities are with us. They need to be.
“We just need a stronger commitment from the State and Federal governments.
“We’re united and ready to partner with the State and the Commonwealth on an infrastructure plan to address our beef corridors.
“Our decision-making is driven by data and this collaboration and collective focus will allow us to do more analysis for better results in the future.”
The group will host an invite-only campaign launch event during Beef Week in Rockhampton.
On the list of invitees are stakeholders from the meat processing industry, livestock transport operators and producers and political representatives from state and federal governments.
“We have a strong Q&A panel made up of local producers from feedlot operators to organic graziers, transport and processing industry leaders,” Mayor Hayes said.
“We invite our attendees to join the conversation and understand the opportunities and priorities that we, as mayors, see each and every day.”