FARMERS has backed road, bridge and telecommunications infrastructure election promises announced this week, saying they will help better connect Queensland and make it safer, easier and cheaper to get food from the paddock to the plate if implemented.
Farm body AgForce said its own 'Thriving Farms, Thriving Queensland' plan outlined a series of policy priorities and the actions required to address them, with 'Connecting Queensland' a key theme.
AgForce president Grant Maudsley said it was pleasing to see some regional transport announcements from the major parties during the Queensland election campaign this week.
"Transport makes up 30 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 port and ultimately to the plate," Mr Maudsley said.
"We welcome the LNP's pledge of $60 million towards 10 regional roads under the Beef Roads program as well as the commitment of another $80m toward 11 bridges under their Better Bridges program.
"With these investment announcements, three of AgForce's priority routes would receive much needed attention:
- Bowenville-Moola Road: $1.5m towards upgrades;
- Mundubbera-Durong Road: $15m towards upgrades;
- Boyne River Bridge on the Mundubbera-Durong Road: $35m towards bridge replacement.
"Labor has also unveiled their plans for a $1 billion a year Bruce Highway Trust, which would include $200m of state funds and the remaining 80pc requiring Federal Government funding,” Mr Maudsley said.
"While upgrading the Bruce Highway is important, we'd like to see more commitments further west to help better connect regional and rural Queensland to the coast, as well as funding commitments from all parties to improve Queensland's struggling regional rail network."
Mr Maudsley said AgForce also welcomed the LNP's pledge to spend $20m to fix mobile phone black spots in the bush.
"With Queensland the most decentralised state in Australia, the need for better phone and internet services is one of the highest priorities for people living and working in regional, rural and remote areas," he said.
"AgForce is calling for all levels of government and all sides of politics to work together to extend and improve services in Queensland, fix mobile phone black spots and increase the fixed wireless footprint for both NBN and third party providers."
CLICK HERE to read AgForce’s Thriving Farms, Thriving Queensland' election policy platform.