WITH a multi-million-dollar investment in new infrastructure and a raft of international trade initiatives delivered by the Queensland government, the state’s beef exports are tipped to grow strongly in coming years.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Deputy Premier Steven Miles, Treasurer Cameron Dick and Agriculture Minister Mark Furner visited the Longreach saleyards on 4 May as part of the Cabinet’s regional trip out west.
The Premier said construction would soon begin on a major re-development of the saleyards which will see 100,000 head of cattle per year pass through the hub.
The Premier said the government was also focused on boosting beef exports from west Queensland, delivering a number of programs to support primary produces in the region.
“We’re working hard to beef up Queensland exports overseas, because we know that increased trade means more jobs and more financial stability here in Longreach and western Queensland,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“Supporting Queensland’s $6.7bn beef industry is critical to Queensland’s economic recovery.
“We’re investing in infrastructure here in Queensland to support primary producers to rebuild and recover from the pandemic.
“We’re also working closely with our contacts overseas to ramp up exports. This is an important part of our economic recovery plan.”
Ms Palaszczuk said beef exports had remained strong throughout the pandemic, but there was an “opportunity to capitalise over the next few years”.
“We’re looking to bolster our beef exports in a range of markets including Vietnam, Indonesia and Korea where we’ve identified strong potential for growth.”
Deputy Premier Steven Miles said the latest data shows that Australia is on the cusp of an improved beef export season.
“After contracting for years, Meat and Livestock Australia’s latest data suggests the national cattle herd will increase by 2% to 25.2m head this year,” Mr Miles said.
“The industry is in a rebuild-phase after drought forced cattle numbers to their lowest level in decades. That has been especially hard-felt here in the Central West.”
Treasurer Cameron Dick said the saleyards will be re-developed to become the Western Queensland Livestock Exchange.
The project is being delivered through the Queensland government’s Jobs and Regional Growth Fund and Building our Regions initiatives and is supported by Longreach Regional Council and AAMIG.
“Adjoining additional railway siding extensions will offer multiple wagon drop-offs giving improved loading and unloading efficiency and offer improved wellbeing for stock,” Mr Dick said.
AAMIG is undertaking a four-stage redevelopment of the facilities under a 30-year lease from Longreach Regional Council.
This is all supporting the $3.2m second stage that will include new cattle weighing infrastructure and drafting facilities, creating seven construction jobs.