Leader of The Nationals, David Littleproud, Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Senator Bridget McKenzie, and Senator Susan McDonald joined with local politicians Michelle Landry MP, Colin Boyce MP, and Senator Matt Canavan to call on Labor to return the funding to the Queensland Beef Corridors during Beef Week.

The project had been proposed at the 2021 Beef Week from seven Central Queensland Councils as part of a campaign to seal and improve critical freight networks for Queensland’s beef industry, and to improve the safety of a number of roads that residents have been calling for improvements to for years.

Mr Littleproud said Labor’s lack of funding was hurting regional Queensland.

“Labor’s delay in funding continues to drive up the cost of living, with poor roads making it harder and more expensive to get food from paddock to plate,” Mr Littleproud said.

$400 million had been committed by both major parties prior to the 2022 election, including the Labor Candidate for Flynn being one of the proponents of the project. The cuts to the roads was uncovered in February through documents obtained in Senate Estimates, with no funding allocated within the forward estimates.

Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Senator Bridget McKenzie said Australia’s beef capital has fallen victim to Labor’s savage cuts to infrastructure and the regions.

“The Albanese Government has been squeezing whatever money they can out of infrastructure and the regions in order to prop up their budget surplus, despite spending billions on stadiums in capital cities,” Senator McKenzie said.

The $400 million was going towards sealing 457km of unsealed road corridors that carry $1.7 billion to the Australian Economy.

Michelle Landry MP said the Prime Minister missed an opportunity to give back to graziers this week by reinstating vital Beef Corridors funding.

“There are more than 2,300 beef businesses within the Beef Corridors network who are working hard to contribute enormously to our economy.

“This hard work seems to be lost on the Prime Minister. His claims of supporting the beef industry is merely empty words when it was his government who pushed the funding into forward estimates, despite work being scheduled to begin in the 2025/2026 financial year,” Ms Landry said.

Roads that were assigned to be sealed include Clermont – Alpha Rd, May Downs Road, Kilcummin – Diamond Downs Road, Alpha – Tambo Rd, Dawson Developmental Rd, Fitzroy Developmental Rd (Bauhinia – Duaringa), Fitzroy Developmental Rd (Taroom – Bauhinia), Duaringa – Apis Creek Rd, Glenroy Road Corridor (incl. Crossing).

Federal Member for Flynn, Colin Boyce called on both the State and Federal Governments to work with local councils and get the Beef Corridors upgrade underway as soon as possible.

“Beef2024 is all about celebrating our critical beef industry and its time both State and Federal Labor Governments put their money where their mouth is and bring funding for the Beef Corridors forward rather than add more delays,” Mr Boyce said.

“I also encourage Prime Minister Albanese and Premier Miles to jump into a truck and see firsthand the state of the Beef Corridors while they are here in Central Queensland. Maybe then they will realise just how critical these road upgrades are.”

“There’s plenty of Labor politicians visiting Rockhampton this week, donning their big hats, but refusing to pull out their big cheques and back our farmers where it really matters.” Senator Canavan said.

“The federal government hadn’t even met with their state counterparts in regards to these roads, nor spoken to any of the local councils before making the decision to cut these roads.

“The people of Central Queensland are sick of having to fight for even a fraction of what we contribute to government coffers through our agricultural and mining industries, and Labor should do the right thing and reinstate the money that was there for these critical roads for our beef industry.”

“Beef roads are critical for animal welfare, for driver safety and to allow regional families to travel for work, school, holidays and health. Labor has demonstrated again that regional Australia is not a priority and graziers are not buying Labor’s spin.”

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