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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    JOINT STATEMENT
    Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Cameron Dick
    Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries
    The Honourable Mark Furner

    Regional cities to bid for $10 million fresh produce distribution centre

    JOINT STATEMENT

    Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries
    The Honourable Mark Furner

    Wednesday, May 30, 2018

    Regional cities to bid for $10 million fresh produce distribution centre

    Regional communities are set to benefit from plans for a new $10 million export distribution centre, with a call for registrations of interest opening today.

    In a major employment boost for the agriculture sector, the Palaszczuk Government will construct a high-value produce export distribution centre in regional Queensland.

    Minister for State Development and Infrastructure Cameron Dick joined Minister for Agricultural Industry Development Mark Furner at the Fresh Produce Group Distribution Centre at Rocklea's Brisbane Markets to inspect some of the state’s freshest and finest export produce.

    “The Palaszczuk Government made a commitment to provide up to $10 million from the Jobs and Regional Growth Fund to fund a business case and capital investment for an export distribution centre in regional Queensland,” Mr Dick said.

    “The funds will seek to supercharge growth in Queensland's agricultural sector by increasing the export and value of time critical produce.

    “The aim is for our high-value produce to have rapid access to key international markets and to grow employment opportunities in surrounding regional areas.

    “We’re currently at the registration of interest stage, which will promote market awareness. An expression of interest stage to seek detailed proposals will follow.”

    Mr Dick said the export distribution centre would be built in an area close to agriculture and near an export-ready regional airport.

    “The centre could include processing capacity, export biosecurity capabilities, cold storage and handling facilities to support agricultural exports,” he said.

    “Potential proponents across the agricultural supply chain, from farmers, cooperatives, agricultural processors and distributors, freight and logistics companies through to airport operators and private investment companies are invited to register their interest today.”

    Mr Furner said the centre would boost agricultural output, help grow job opportunities and lift the economy in regional Queensland.

    “As I travel around the state and meet with farmers, I see firsthand the high standard of produce we create here in Queensland,” he said.

    “By increasing capacity we can export more of our freshest and finest produce such as fruit and vegetables, seafood, meat and cut flowers to flourishing overseas export market.”

    Despite a debilitating record drought and recurring natural disasters, Mr Furner said the value of Queensland’s agricultural production was nearly $20 billion this year, representing a significant increase of 11 per cent over a five-year average.

    “This export centre is another step to ensure the agriculture sector has the backing it needs from the Palaszczuk Government to continue to grow,” he said.

    “Collectively, our farmers already support more than 300,000 jobs, and we will continue to grow this sector to create even more jobs for regional Queensland.”

    Queensland mango producer Marie Piccone said the Palaszczuk Government’s proactive support has seen the industry grow and producers look forward to seizing the potential for further growth including export.

    “We’re embracing the opportunity to continue to work in collaboration with the Queensland Government on initiatives and investments to build on the success of our business and other agricultural businesses,” Ms Piccone said.

    Registrations close 5pm, 29 June 2018. Parties can register via dsdmip.qld.gov.au/export

    ENDS

    Media contacts:
    Catherine Palmer 0424 823 424 (Minister Dick)
    Brock Taylor 0427 018 178 (Minister Furner)