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THE Palaszczuk Government has promised to back the beef industry in Rockhampton.
Main Roads and Road Safety Minister Mark Bailey met with Labor Candidate for Rockhampton Barry O'Rourke today at the JBS abattoir in Nerimbera to make a major announcement.
They told assembled media the Palasczcuk Government would invest $4.1 million to upgrade a section of the Yeppoon rail line.
Minister Bailey said it was an investment into 538 jobs to give greater efficiencies at the abattoir.
"Restoring the rail connection with give JBS abattoir greater options for its supply chain both on road and soon on rail,” Mr Bailey said.
Mr O'Rourke said 1.9km of rail track would be upgraded.
The project will involve new sleepers and two of the old timber bridges will be replaced with new concrete culverts.
"This is about creating jobs and consistency of supply for this meat works,” the ALP candidate said.
He said the upgrade was vital for JBS staff as it would allow them to have continual work.
Cattle would be able to come from Western Queensland which Mr O'Rourke said would benefit producers.
"At the moment, the catchment area for the meat works here is a little bit limited but having a rail line to the far west and to North Queensland will actually be able to provide more cattle,” the ALP candidate said.
He said the rail line had not been utilised for several years.
This follows an announcement in June that type one road trains now have access to North Rockhampton abattoirs from approvals and a $10 million roads investment from the Palaszczuk Government.
JBS Director John Berry welcomed the announcement and said the Rockhampton plant processed approximately 700 head of cattle per day and supports a workforce of more than 500.
Work on the Yeppoon line is expected to be delivered in 2018.
This article first appeared on www.themorningbulletin.com.au
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