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  • Renee Cluff

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    Cairns in contention for Agricultural Export Centre


    The Queensland Government has selected Cairns and Toowoomba as preferred cities to build a Regional Export Distribution Centre, aimed at boosting rapid airfreight access for agricultural producers.

    Up to $10 million in State Government funding is available to support one pilot facility.

    Cairns-based Air Freight Handling Services (AFHS) and Toowoomba-based Wagner Group Holdings have been asked to submit business cases.

    Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning, Cameron Dick, said the announcement follows an expressions of interest process, which attracted proposals from across Queensland.

    “This type of facility has the potential to help our primary producers access key international markets, while supporting regional jobs and enhancing agricultural productivity.

    “AFHS will now start work on a business case for Cairns," he said.

    “A final decision on the outcome of the process and the location of the regional export distribution hub will be made later this year.”

    ALP Member for Cairns, Michael Healy, said space on passenger flights departing Cairns could be better utilised for more agriculture exports.

    “This is an excellent opportunity to not only grow our agricultural output and export, but to strengthen our tourism industry by increasing economic viability of airlines,” he said.

    “The business case will also look at ways the project can harness contributions from other partners, including the private sector and particularly, the Federal Government.”