The sky’s the limit for Queensland’s primary producers, with the official opening of the $17.8 million Regional Trade Distribution Centre at Toowoomba’s Wellcamp airport today.
Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development Steven Miles said the Toowoomba Wellcamp Regional Trade Distribution Centre (RTDC) is 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,” the Deputy Premier said.
“Premium Queensland fresh food such as beef, fruit and vegetables can now be airfreighted into markets all over the world, faster and fresher than ever before.
“This project has already delivered a fantastic boost for the local businesses in Toowoomba, having supported 170 workers during construction, with more jobs to be created at the facility and throughout the supply chain.”
Treasurer and Minister for Investment Cameron Dick said strengthening regional businesses is a key element of the Palaszczuk Government’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan.
“The Palaszczuk Government is proud to have nurtured this project through a $10 million investment as part of the $175 million Jobs and Regional Growth Fund,” the Treasurer said.
“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.
“Queensland exports support 20 per cent of Queensland jobs and 25 per cent of regional jobs.
“Queensland’s overseas exports of goods and services are forecast to rebound by 9.75 per cent in 2021-22.”
Wagner Corporation Chairman John Wagner said the was proud to have worked with the Queensland Government on a world-class facility 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.
“The RTDC is regional Queensland’s largest fresh food exporting hub with a gross floor area of 4,000 square metres. Included is 1,500 square metres of state-of-the-art refrigerated storage, freezer rooms and temperature-controlled transit areas as well as large transit and covered external storage areas.
“The project supported 170 jobs during construction and will support ongoing operational jobs, both at the facility and throughout the supply chain.”
Toowoomba Wellcamp is the first of two Queensland RTDCs with another under development at the Cairns International Airport.
In Toowoomba as part of the 2021-22 Queensland Budget Roadshow, Mr Dick said the Palaszczuk Government is focused on growing more jobs on the Darling Downs through a range of major projects and initiatives.
“Our Darling Downs Budget Regional Action Plan, released with last month’s budget as part of our COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan, outlines the crucial investments our government is making in infrastructure, frontline services, health, education, employment and the environment,” he said.
“We’ve allocated billions for the region this year to grow jobs and industry, and to help businesses as they continue to navigate the impacts of COVID-19.
“The budget roadshow that’s underway now allows our government to talk directly with Queenslanders about what’s in the budget for them, their community, and how they’ll benefit from the investments we’re making.
“We’ve got our unemployment rate down to 5.1 per cent, its lowest level in 12 years, and the Darling Downs Regional Action Plan is another integral piece of our strategy to keep Queensland moving forward.”
Key investments of the Darling Downs Regional Action Plan include:
- $15 million to upgrade the intersection of the Cunningham Highway and New England Highway, to the north of Warwick.
- $16.5 million for enhancement and refurbishment of the Kogan Creek Power Station to ensure the long-term reliability and safety.
- $24.6 million to develop and maintain new gas assets for the Kogan North Gas Fields development, as part of the Renewable Energy Target 2030.
- $11.5 million for critical infrastructure to address immediate water security in Southern Downs region, and to continue preparatory work for the Toowoomba to Warwick Pipeline, as part of the Southern Downs Drought Resilience Package.
- $1.1 billion for the Darling Downs and South West Hospital and Health Services, including:
- $5.9 million for the construction of a two-theatre day surgery unit at the Baillie Henderson Hospital Campus in Toowoomba.
- $4.9 million for construction projects to improve facilities at the Toowoomba Hospital site, including electrical infrastructure upgrades of essential power integration.
- $8.1 million for construction projects at multiple South West Hospital and Health Service sites.
- $67.7 million to maintain, improve and upgrade schools on the Darling Downs, including:
- $15 million to construct a new building for additional learning spaces at Wilsonton State High School
- $11.2 million to construct a new building for additional learning spaces and to relocate the Denise Kable Centre at the Clifford Park Special School
- $6.7 million to construct a new building for additional learning spaces and upgrade the administration building at Toowoomba West Special School
- $3 million to upgrade the administration building at Highfields State School.
- $3.4 million to progress the upgrade of the police facility at Dalby.
Mr Dick said an estimated 420 Darling Downs employers would benefit from the higher payroll tax threshold in 2021-22, while the $3.34 billion Queensland Jobs Fund would unlock employment opportunities across a range of industries.
To learn more about the 2021-22 Queensland Budget, please visit budget.qld.gov.au.