Think Big on Road Freight - Major Party Responses 2020 QLD Election
QTA CEO's response to the Media Release on 10 May 2021
We were buoyed by this morning’s announcement by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack, of $400million to activate an Inland Freight Route in Queensland. This is a signficant announcement, not only for the road freight industry but for the entire Queensland economy.
We identified this infrastructure investment as one of our Think Big Election Priorities for the Queensland State Election last year, and coupled with strong, responsive and consistent advocacy work, Queensland will now have a genuine freight route that is a safe alternative to the Bruce Highway. This critical infrastructure investment will unlock access for high productivity combinations, build regional capacity and more efficiently connect the major freight routes leading to lower production costs. Combined with a recent announcement by the Queensland State Government of $200million, the Inland Freight Route will now become a reality.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the project will provide a vital alternative to the Bruce Highway, improving road safety and the efficiency of the road network.
“This investment will deliver a long-term program of priority works between Mungindi on the NSW border and Charters Towers, which will connect vital goods with markets and support more than 600 jobs,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“The Australian Government has committed $400 million to this $500 million project with construction expected to commence in early 2023.”
QTA Chief Executive Gary Mahon said “This announcement gives us confidence that our voice is being heard and that our advocacy efforts are ensuring that road freight is recognised as a significant contributor to the economy.”
“The road freight industry is vital for the operation and survival of the vast geographical footprint of communities and business across the nation. The reliance on the road freight industry has never been more profound due to the extensive and ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 economic crisis with disrupted global supply chains, simmering trade tensions and weaker demand.
"To be viable, the road freight industry needs to be competitive on every metric to keep pace on the global map and keep our freight efficiency comparable - our leading manufacturing and production industries depend on it."
The road freight industry employs over 62,000 Queenslanders, who make sure supermarket shelves are stocked, shopping is delivered, hospitals are supplied, construction materials are on site, and our produce and goods are enjoyed here and abroad.
With the road freight task expected to grow 26% in the next six years, a high productivity freight network in Queensland would improve efficiencies for exporters, mean fewer trucks on the road and greater efficiencies for road freight operators struggling under the weight of increasing costs.
This announcement gives us confidence that our advocacy efforts have further strengthened the important of the road freight industry and that it remains a genuine priority for the Federal Government.
Link to full Government Media Release
Gary Mahon, 0418 736 802