Thursday 2 November 2017

The Red Meat Advisory Council today welcomed the approval of the inaugural Beef Roads sight in Clermont, Central Queensland by Minister for Transport & Infrastructure the Hon Darren Chester MP.

The 8-million-dollar project will seal 16 kilometres of road in the heart of cattle country in Central Queensland.

RMAC Director and Central Queensland beef producer Mr Howard Smith said the commencement of the Northern Beef Roads Program will be a great first step to recognising the safety, animal welfare, eating quality and productivity dividend from improvement of red meat supply chains from paddock to plate.

“Getting our supply chains right are absolutely critical to a prosperous Australian beef – and red meat – industry and connecting Australia’s regions with our 100 plus export markets.”

“The sealing of the Alpha-Clermont road will provide an important link and achieve over $260, 000 in cost savings for producers in the first year alone according to CSIRO TraNSIT modelling.”

Mr Smith added “This doesn’t even take into account the safety benefits along this route for the Central Queensland community; or the improvements in livestock wellbeing as result of a smoother, more efficient journey.”

Transport costs are around $490 million for the Australian cattle industry[1] and represent a major opportunity for governments to deliver tangible outcomes for red meat businesses through initiatives like the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper and the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy.

Mr Smith said “We talk a lot about trade, but the reality is that regional freight costs can be up to 30 percent of profit margins for pre-and post-farm gate businesses.”

“Better planning and small but targeted investment is needed, and we see the expansion of a Beef Roads style program for all red meat that focuses on supply chain connectivity as being a big cost saver for the industry moving forward.”

“Red meat industry research suggests that with this reform we can add up to $750 million dollars to the industries bottom line and up to 4, 000 Australian jobs.”[2]

“Kicking off the Beef Roads program is a great first step to having world class transport and infrastructure for this crucial Australian industry.”

RMAC’s transport and infrastructure policy From Freight to Plate: Delivering the Goods can be viewed at http://rmac.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/F2P_Delivering-the-goods.pdf  

Media Contact: Anna Campbell, 0448 692 245, anna@rmac.com.au

[1] Transport Strategic Network Investment Tool (TraNSIT)– Application to Northern Beef Roads Program, 2016

[2] From Freight to Plate: Delivering the Goods– RMAC Submission to the National Freight & Supply Chain Strategy, 2017