ALRTA backs Government’s $100m beef roads investment

Industry association welcomes federal government's $100 million plan to upgrade transport roads in northern Australia

ALRTA backs Government’s $100m beef roads investment
Government allocates funds to transport routes.


The Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) has commended the Federal Government on its $100 million pledge to improve roads used by the beef industry.

Announced by Prime Minister Tony Abbott at the Beef Australia 2015 industry event, the new Northern Australia Beef Roads Fund will focus on specific upgrades to key roads for transporting cattle.

ALRTA National President Grant Robins says the news will benefit all road users in northern Australia, and make a significant difference to the transport industry in the region.

"Road transport is typically the first and last link of our agricultural supply chains, bringing vital supplies to our production centres and taking produce to our markets," Robins says.

"Beef cattle have the highest imbedded transport cost of all Australian commodities and improving the road network on which this produce travels will deliver significant economic benefits for livestock transporters, beef producers and the regional communities of northern Australia." 

The Northern Australia region, which covers parts of Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory, provides 90 per cent of Australian cattle exports, worth around $3 billion a year.

Transporting cattle can make up to 35 per cent of the market price of livestock in the region, Abbott stated on Friday, with distances from farm to market among the biggest of any Australian commodity.  

The roads improvements will be chosen based on new Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) logistics modelling, which looks at the supply chain as a whole.

The ALRTA says Buntine Road, the Barkly Stock Route, Duncan Highway, Buchanan Highway, Outback Way and Tanami Road have already been identified for further development, but will continue to work with the government and CSIRO to highlight priority transport routes.

The CSIRO announced plans last week to widen its modelling tool to other agricultural transport industries, after completing the "most comprehensive mapping of the cattle supply chain in Australia."

For the Northern Territory, the additional funds will join the local government’s record investment of $587.1 million to transport infrastructure, unveiled in April.

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