The Northern Australia Beef Roads Program has just delivered 17 new kilometres of sealed bitumen for the Clermont-Alpha Road.
The $8.71 million project, funded on an 80:20 basis by the federal and Queensland governments, has been welcomed by all in the quest to unlock northern Australia's livestock commodity potential.
Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said targeted upgrades to key routes via the $100 million Beef Roads program was alleviating some of the pressures faced by primary producers transporting cattle to market.
Priorities have been determined thanks to a CSIRO-devised Transport Network Strategic Investment Tool that analysed and modelled different scenarios regarding cattle movements.
As well as the Clermont-Alpha sealing work, the Rockhampton abattoirs road train access was singled out by the analysis for money, along with the Burke Development Road between Chillagoe and Almaden, the Ootann Road between Almaden and the Kennedy Highway, the Gregory Development Road south of Charters Towers, the Richmond-Croydon Road, the Richmond-Winton Road and the Diamantina Development Road between Boulia and Dajarra.
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Ultimately, the (Beef Roads) program recognises the positive contribution of the beef industry to economic growth and its potential for even greater expansion," Mr McCormack said.
Queensland transport and main roads minister Mark Bailey said sealing sections of the Clermont-Alpha Road would deliver benefits at a local level as well.
"The Clermont-Alpha Road project is one of many improving the resilience of our cattle supply chains while reducing travel times, as well as vehicle operating and maintenance costs," Mr Bailey said.
"The small businesses in and around Clermont and Alpha, and those along connected transport links, will experience an income boost from increased activity in tourism, agriculture and resource sectors."
The project has also helped boost local and regional communities by securing jobs, with Barcaldine Regional Council and RoadTek delivering the works.