Beef roads upgrade promise

Funding has been committed for the Beef Corridor.

Central Queensland and the Central West is set to benefit from the development and progressive delivery of $500 million of upgrades to priority road corridors to support Queensland’s beef industry, with construction potentially starting this year.

Queensland’s beef corridor network stretches across nearly 218,000 square kilometres and runs from east to west across Central Queensland, with this strategic web of roads contributing $1.7 billion to the Australian economy.

Main Roads Minister Bart Mellish said upgrading the beef corridor network would increase productivity across the agriculture and resource industry sectors along with improving safety.

The Queensland Government, in partnership with the State Government, will work with seven local government mayors and key industry stakeholders on the identification of short, medium and long-term beef road priorities to inform a 10-year Central Queensland Beef Roads Investment Strategy.

This includes the Mayors of Barcaldine, Central Highlands, Gladstone, Isaac and Rockhampton Regional Councils and Banana and Woorabinda Aboriginal Shire Councils, who have been advocating for infrastructure investment to improve the roads forming part of the state’s beef supply chain.

To kick start the initiative, an early works package is being developed with the State Government funding contribution, prioritising the following projects:

– Pave and seal sections along Clermont-Alpha Road in Mackay/ Whitsunday and Central West districts

– Pave and seal and widening of floodway along Alpha-Tambo Road in the Central West district

– Pave and seal in sections of the Fitzroy Developmental Road between Bauhinia – Duaringa in the Fitzroy district

– Pave and seal section along May Downs Road in the Mackay / Whitsunday district

Construction is expected to commence progressively from 2024-25.

These works are in addition to the $107 million early works package announced in November 2023 to kickstart works on the $1 billion Inland Freight Route, also known as the Second Bruce.

Mr Mellish called Central Queensland Australia’s heartland for beef production.

“The road upgrades to be proposed under a 10-year Central Queensland’s Beef Roads Investment Strategy will provide safer and more efficient transport solutions for this nationally-significant industry and increase economic opportunities for the region,” he said.

“In partnership with its federal counterparts, the Department of Transport and Main Roads will engage with relevant local governments and key industry stakeholders to develop a 10-year strategy to prioritise beef road upgrades where they are needed most.

“A program of early works has been developed to kick start the initiative, while the 10-year Investment Strategy is completed.

“Future projects will be confirmed through the annual release of the Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program which outlines current and planned investment in road and transport infrastructure for delivery over the following four-year program.”

The State Government has confirmed its funding contribution of $400 million as part of the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook, with the Queensland Government’s commitment of $100 million to upgrade Queensland Beef Corridors outlined in the Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program (2023-24 to 2026-27).