Inland Port announced
FEDERAL funding announced on Monday will help realise two major projects that are key to the Central Highlands' economic growth and sustainability.
The Coalition Government has committed more than $2.9 million for the CQ Inland Port near Emerald and the Central Highlands Development Corporation's Export Ready program.
Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd made the funding announcement at the corporation's sold-out Economic Futures Forum.
Mr O'Dowd said the CQ Inland Port will cut down the number of trucks moving through Emerald.
"We don't want to bring trucks through the town of Emerald, they will now go straight to Yamala,” he said.
"Where there are truck movements involving grain, there is an abundance of dust, so it will reduce that.
"This project has a lot of positives and not a lot of negatives.”
Mr O'Dowd said Emerald was chosen for the project because there is roughly $5.5 billion worth of product coming out of the region.
"With Graincorp looking at their logistics and economic situation, I think they say it will save a farmer about $5 a tonne,” he said.
"We also want to better utilise the Gladstone Port.
"The Gladstone Port is not being utilised sufficiently, a lot of the stuff has to go from the Central Highlands and Central Queensland all the way down to Brisbane.
"It is more cost effective to get grain from here to the port in Gladstone by rail as opposed to trucking it down to Brisbane.”
Mr O'Dowd said the government's focus was jobs and growth, and they were what the projects promised to bring.
"This project will certainly create more jobs, with 60 jobs already created for the construction of the Inland Port and ongoing jobs in logistics and maintenance will soon follow after its completion,” he said.
"Agriculture has been on the rise in the past couple of years, and I have every confidence it will continue to rise even higher.
"The Central Highlands can only go one way in regards to agriculture.”