WITH a $3 million injection of funding, Queensland's new Spyglass Beef Research Facility is set to become northern Australia's premier cattle research facility.
Agriculture Minister John McVeigh said the facility was well under way and expected to be fully operational by the end of the year.
"The facility which is 110km north of Charters Towers will play a leading role in Queensland's $4.5 billion beef industry," Mr McVeigh said.
"The recently announced 2012-13 Budget sets aside $3m for more capital works at the 38,200-hectare facility.
"Stage 1 works are advancing rapidly including offices, staff quarters and services.
"These works are due for completion next month with work on Stage 2 to commence later this year.
"Further infrastructure such as additional staff residences, roads, yards, dams and even a local weather station will be provided at later stages as part of a three-year development program."
Mr McVeigh said Spyglass welcomed its first herd of cattle at the end of 2011, with nearly 500 weaners and breeders moving from the decommissioned Swans Lagoon Research Station near Ayr.
"The last 1600 cattle have now arrived and they will be the foundation of the new station's breeding herd," he said.
"These cattle will be critical to the role Spyglass will play in boosting the productivity and profitability of the northern beef industry.
"The research program at Spyglass will focus on long-term monitoring as well as education in best practice for beef cattle genetics, reproduction, nutrition, welfare, husbandry and grazing land management.
"Around 4000 cattle will eventually call Spyglass home."
Member for Burdekin, Rosemary Menkens said the Spyglass facility would become the new home for weaners and breeders from the Burdekin's decommissioned Swans Lagoon Research Station.
She said it had been sad to lose the Burdekin research station which had been left to run down since being decommissioned.
"However, it is pleasing to see a $3 million injection of funding into Queensland's new Spyglass Beef Research Facility in the north."