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