Cairns and Toowoomba will go toe to toe for the chance to be home to a multimillion-dollar agricultural export distribution centre.
Wagner Group Holdings and Air Freight Handling Services have both been invited by the state government to submit a business case to have the distribution hub built at Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport or Cairns Airport respectively.
State development minister Cameron Dick said the government made an election commitment to provide up to $10 million from its $150 million Jobs and Regional Growth Fund for the project.
"The delivery of this election commitment will support the development and construction of an agricultural export distribution pilot centre in regional Queensland," he said.
"An export distribution centre of this type is new for Queensland, and we are taking our time to get it right.
"A final decision on the outcome of the process and the location of the regional export distribution hub will be made later this year."
Mr Dick said a regional export distribution centre would help boost rapid airfreight access for Queensland agricultural producers.
"This type of facility has the potential to help our primary producers access key international markets, while supporting regional jobs and enhancing agricultural productivity," he said.
Air Freight Handling Services and Wagners Group Holdings have been chosen to submit business cases after taking part in the centre's expression of interest process.
Agriculture minister Mark Furner said agricultural exports continued to generate huge results for Queensland.
"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."