Transport makes up to 40 per cent of farmers’ production costs, so we need good infrastructure that makes it safer, easier and cheaper to get our farm goods from the paddock to the plate or the paddock to the port.
With Queensland moving the largest volume of cattle in Australia by road over long distances, funding for improved transport networks is always welcome.
Federal Labor’s recent pledge to invest $500 million on upgrading Queensland’s inland roads is a good start.
However, to make a real difference on roads like the Barkly, Capricorn, Mitchell and Kennedy Highways, much more funding will be needed.
With the Federal Election now less than nine months away and Queensland a key battleground, we’d like all sides of politics to commit to doing more to improve our vital regional and rural roads.
Driving regional development is not all about funding though, it’s also about good policy.
That’s why AgForce continues to call on Federal Labor to dump their plans to impose a new vegetation management “trigger” in Australia’s national environment law.
Federal Labor says it will invest in Queensland’s inland road network to make it easier for farmers to move cattle, sheep and feed, but farmers also want to be able to produce more cattle, sheep and feed.
To do that, we need sensible and workable land use laws.
With the Palaszczuk Labor Government passing laws this year that make it harder for Queensland farmers to grow food and shut down new agricultural development opportunities, the last thing we need is for Federal Labor to impose more red tape on our industry.
So while pledging more funding for regional and rural Queensland roads is a step in the right direction, we also want Federal Labor to work with farmers to develop better policies so together we can create more jobs, improve productivity and boost local economies.