QUEENSLAND’S peak farming organisation, AgForce, has welcomed the Queensland State Government’s decision to invest in a Central Queensland rail project, but says work is still needed in the State’s south.
The government has announced a project at Emerald which GrainCorp will also invest in that will take grain freight off-road in CQ.
AgForce grains section president Wayne Newton said the announcement was a positive first step, but more needed to be done to improve grain rail infrastructure in both central and southern Queensland.
"Transport makes up more than a third of growers' cost of production," he said.
Mr Newton said there had been significant investment in transport logistics on the south-east Queensland coast, but dollars needed to flow over the Great Divide.
"AgForce and Grain Corp have been calling on the Queensland Government to invest up to $11 million towards two projects worth $52 million.”
The first one, in CQ has been approved, but funding for improvements to the freight network in the Darling Downs are not yet there.
He said Queensland was lagging behind other states in terms funding for grain moving rail networks.
Mr Newton said the freight network needed reinvestment both at a private and public level.
“We need to see improvement in the rolling stock and unless we see government investment like the announcement this week we might not see that private money going back into freight.
“GrainCorp have shown they will invest if the governments are prepared to do so and that is good for everyone as it sees more grain moving by rail which cheaper and safer.”