Regional Queensland's largest fresh food exporting hub has been officially opened at Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport, offering agricultural producers greater access to overseas markets.
The $17.8 million Regional Trade Distribution Centre, co-funded by the Queensland Government and Wagner Corporation, was opened by state officials and the Wagner family on Tuesday.
The RTDC cold storage facility will aid primary producers and exporters by increasing the product shelf life of beef, dairy, fresh fruit and vegetables, pork and packaged nuts.
With a gross floor area of 4000 square metres, the centre includes 1500sqm of refrigerated storage, freezer rooms and temperature-controlled transit areas as well as large transit and covered external storage areas.
The principal contractor, Queensland-based Hutchinson Builders, completed the project in 156 days.
Deputy Premier and Development Minister Steven Miles said the centre was set to supercharge regional producers' access to key international markets.
"The RTDC is streamlining the paddock-to-freight process for graziers and growers throughout the Toowoomba and Downs regions," Mr Miles said.
"Premium Queensland fresh food such as beef, fruit and vegetables can now be air freighted into markets all over the world, faster and fresher than ever before."
Treasurer and Investment Minister Cameron Dick said the government was proud to nurture the project through a $10 million investment.
"We're driving the next phase of economic growth by unlocking private sector investment, which is the critical element to job creation in the Queensland economy," Mr Dick said.
Mr Dick said Queensland exports supported 20 per cent of Queensland jobs and 25pc of regional jobs.
He said Queensland's overseas exports of goods and services were forecast to rebound by 9.75pc in 2021-22.
Wagner Corporation chairman John Wagner said he was proud of the facility and growing Queensland exports and jobs.
"The RTDC adds a new dimension to Wellcamp's existing international freight operations and will bring enormous benefits to local producers and businesses," Mr Wagner said.
Mr Wagner said the project had delivered a boost for local businesses in Toowoomba, supporting 170 workers during construction, with more jobs to be created at the facility and throughout the supply chain.
Toowoomba Wellcamp is the first of two Queensland RTDCs, with another under development at Cairns International Airport.
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