Air­port to help ex­ports fly

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS -

A NEW in­ter­na­tional air­port out­side Toowoomba has Bur­nett fruit and veg­etable grow­ers fly­ing high.

“When you ex­port to Asia, es­pe­cially China, it’s all about fresh­ness,” North Bur­nett Re­gional Coun­cil­lor Paul Lobegeier said.

“We are close enough here in the Bur­nett re­gion to re­ally ben­e­fit from the air­port,” Cr Lobegeier said of the Bris­baneWest Well­camp Air­port.

“It will mean we can get pro­duce over­seas much more quickly and that added fresh­ness will add value.”

In the long term, it will be not only fresh pro­duce

Paul Lobegeier It will mean we can get pro­duce over­seas much more quickly and that added fresh­ness will add value.

grow­ers who come out on top, Cr Lobegeier said.

“They are talk­ing about the pos­si­bil­ity of live cat­tle and all av­enues of trade,” he said.

“With the prices China is pay­ing for dairy, it should also put dis­cus­sions of fresh and pow­dered dairy ex­ports on the ta­ble.”

The Chi­nese are fork­ing out up to $9 a litre for fresh milk, and if Bur­nett dairy farm­ers can cap­ture some of that mar­ket it might lift the farm gate price.

North Bur­nett Re­gional Coun­cil Act­ing Mayor Faye Whe­lan said the coun­cil would help con­nect gov­ern­ment and in­dus­tries look­ing to ex­port.

“Great eco­nomic op­por­tu­nity ex­ists for North Bur­nett agri­cul­tural in­dus­tries if we have the ca­pac­ity to de­liver pro­duce into the Asian coun­tries, es­pe­cially China,” Cr Whe­lan said.

“They con­sider food safety as a high pri­or­ity and see Aus­tralia as a pre­ferred sup­plier.”

Cr Whe­lan said with bil­lions of mouths to feed, China needed to guar­an­tee sup­ply.

Wide Bay Bur­nett Re­gional Or­gan­i­sa­tion of Coun­cils pri­or­ity projects of­fi­cer Peta Jamieson said in­dus­tries would have to work to­gether to cap­ture this new op­por­tu­nity.

“They need to se­cure this sup­ply, and we will have to present our­selves as a sin­gle in­dus­try,” Ms Jamieson said.

“Pack­ag­ing our sup­ply chain to form a sin­gu­lar in­vest­ment op­por­tu­nity will be the way to go,” she said.

PHOTO: BEV LACEY

TAK­ING OFF: The Bris­bane West Well­camp Air­port will help farm­ers ex­port fresh pro­duce to China.

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