Rocky's ticket to top of freight and supply chain
TYPE-one road trains, an international airport, sea and rail capabilities could be Rockhampton's ticket to the top of Australia's supply chain.
Rockhampton Region councillors yesterday shared their desire to supersede the Darling Downs-Maranoa region as the number-one beef exporter, and position the region as a "transport and logistics hub".
The revelations came as councillors backed Rockhampton's submission to the Inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities; a Federal Government strategy to address the need for a freight system that boosts the nation's prosperity.
Moments earlier, mayor Margaret Strelow successfully passed a six-month international Rockhampton Airport trial in 2018 to create a targeted opportunity for international freight and international passengers.
Cr Strelow focused on crop export, but said there was potential for "beef to fly".
The submission, presented to council's ordinary meeting, states the region is willing to take a share of the growth in domestic and international freight tasks by leveraging its nationally significant road, rail, air and sea linkages, and capacity to boost productivity.
It also argues the Fitzroy supply chain for export beef provides a better case study than the Darling Downs given its higher value of cattle and calf production; $950 million in 2014/15 compared to $910m.
It also presents a new opportunity to examine the performance potential of all modes of transport, considering the international airport push, and fact the Darling Downs doesn't have rail or sea capabilities.
"The airport is preparing to support new growth in beef air freight exports, so could provide a new way to examine the performance and value improvement impact of new air supply chain opportunities within a multi-modal and inter-modal system," the submission states.
Councillor Neil Fisher took council's bid "one step further", and suggested it partner with neighbouring councils with mutual interests.
He said Blackall-Tambo Regional Council were keen to coordinate with the RRC to lobby for better connections to the mid-west, and highlighted the missing links between Blackall-Tambo to Jericho or Alpha.
"They have one of the fastest growing cattle saleyards in the country, but because of some of the missing link in the roads... most of that cattle is going down to the southern end of the state," Cr Fisher said.
"It would be very much in our interest to work with them, guaranteeing a greater share of Barcoo and cattle country cattle coming to Central Queensland."
Cr Tony Williams agreed, and added the recent $30 million road upgrade to allow type-one road trains through the city, combined with better highway and inland routes added to the region's appeal as a "transport and logistics hub".
Cr Strelow vowed council would continue its "political lobby".
"We have watched our herd move, and I think progressive meatworks, active lobbying and expanding our own capability in freight networks is part of the story," she said.
Councillors approved the submission, due by the end of this month.