Toowoomba and Cairns in running for agricultural export centre
Toowoomba and Cairns have made it to the final round of a selection process that will see a multimillion-dollar agricultural export centre established in one of these regional communities.
The Regional Export Distribution Centre is a Queensland Government initiative designed to boost access to overseas markets for agricultural producers, stimulate high-value farming and processing, and create jobs in regional Queensland.
Toowoomba’s Wagner Group Holdings and Cairns business Air Freight Handling Services have been selected to submit business cases to locate the centre at their local airports.
They were chosen from more than 30 regional businesses and communities that submitted proposals to host the pilot centre as part of a selection process that began in May last year.
Minister for Agriculture Mark Furner said agricultural exports were major contributors to the Queensland economy.
‘The export of Queensland’s premium agriculture products contributed almost $12 billion to our economy last financial year,’ Mr Furner said.
‘Initiatives like the Regional Export Distribution Centre Pilot will ensure we can build on our reputation as a global leader in the production and processing of top-quality agricultural produce, driving additional jobs and growth for our regions.
‘This will mean more money for primary producers, and more jobs for Queensland.’
Wagner Group Holdings will submit a business case to locate the Regional Export Distribution Centre at Toowoomba’s Wellcamp Airport, while Air Freight Handling Services will submit a case to locate the centre at Cairns Airport.
A final decision on the outcome of the process and the location of the centre is expected to be made later this year.
The Queensland Government has committed up to $10 million from the Jobs and Regional Growth Fund to help fund the pilot export distribution centre.
Agricultural exports are identified as one of Queensland’s export strengths in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.
This article was originally published on Trade & Investment Queensland.