CAIRNS and Toowoomba have been selected as sites for a multimillion-dollar regional trade distribution hubs.

The announcement was made this week by Premier and trade minister Annastacia Palaszczuk.

In Cairns, Air Freight Handling Services has been selected to establish a regional trade distribution centre while in Toowoomba, Wagners Group Holdings has been selected to build an RTDC at the Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport.

State development minister Cameron Dick said the Cairns centre would boost access to markets in Asia, Europe and elsewhere.

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“The centre will allow North Queensland’s fruit and seafood industries along with a range of other industries improved access to international markets which, in turn will have a flow-on benefit to regional communities,” Mr Dick said.

“The Cairns export hub will mean even more of our world-class seafood and agricultural produce including fish and crustaceans, frozen prawns, avocadoes, melons, citrus, blueberries, mangoes and other tropics fruits will head overseas, boosting our economy and creating jobs.”

Cairns Airport’s chief executive officer Norris Carter said it was a great announcement for Far North Queensland and the airport.

“We welcome the state government’s contribution and recognition of the importance of Cairns as the gateway to the Asia Pacific region for freight,” Mr Carter said.

Mr Dick said the RTDC near Toowoomba would enhance productivity and capitalise on Queensland’s reputation in production and processing of agricultural produce.

He said Wagners planned to expand an existing distribution centre at the Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport, adding 3000 square metres to the facility.

“The expansion will comprise four state-of-the-art large cold rooms, a temperature-controlled store room, a store room and an external storage area,” he said.

“The new facility will be used to process premium export goods including beef, dairy products, fresh fruit and vegetables, pork and packaged nuts.”

Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport general manager, Robert Kasch said he was proud the Darling Downs had been selected. “We look forward to building a centre which will take the agricultural export capacity for this region to the next level, for the benefit of generations to come,” he said.

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