WITH a $9.5m road and rail upgrade at Yamala, an initial step has been made in the project to establish a Central Queensland inland port.
Queensland infrastructure, development and planning minister Cameron Dick said the project, funded by the Building our Regions program, was being delivered in partnership with industry ($4.41 million) and Central Highlands Regional Council ($695,000).
“This project will underpin the future development of the inland port at Yamala, near Emerald, by upgrading local road and rail infrastructure,” he said.
“The works are to build a 1.5-km dead-end rail siding capable of handling 42 wagons, upgrade the Bonnie Doon Road and its intersection with the Capricorn Highway including the rail crossing, and upgrade the industrial access road to the rail siding.”
Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said GrainCorp had plans to move its grain facilities from Emerald to Yamala, where it intends to build a $20m facility as the anchor operator for the inland port.
“Safer and more efficient grain handling and transport, and the port’s 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week link to the Port of Gladstone is set to reduce costs and lead to increased exports,” Mr Butcher said.
Central Highlands Regional Council Mayor Kerry Hayes said the collaborative approach with industry and state and local government provided great benefits for industry, agriculture and services.
“The presence of GrainCorp as a major tenant with a state-of-the art grain handling facility, demonstrates that, with careful incentives from local and state governments, the private sector can confidently invest in the region, providing greater economy of scale and ultimately better returns to growers,” Mr Hayes said.
Regional Manager GrainCorp Brad Foster said GrainCorp was proud to support growers in the Emerald region through the investment.
“We will deliver more efficient rail performance and improve the export competitiveness of high-quality Queensland grain,” Mr Foster said.