The Australian government is to spend AUS$100m on improving the roads used to transport beef supplies in three states as part of a record AUS$50bn infrastructure spend announced in the budget.
Unveiled by treasurer Scott Morrison last week, the Beef Roads Fund is intended to “ensure that farmers can get their cattle to markets” by improving transport infrastructure in three key cattle states.
The bulk of the investment will be in Queensland, with the Sunshine State receiving AUS$62.5m over three years, while Western Australia will receive AUS$34.3m and the Northern Territories AUS$3.2m.
In addition to direct investment in the cattle supply chain, freight transportation as a whole is set to benefit hugely from the AUS$50 billion to be spent on infrastructure up to 2019-20. Included within the package is AUS$594m in funding for the Australian Rail Track Corporation to accelerate the construction of an inland rail network connecting Melbourne and Brisbane.
“We know that an inland rail link will help to integrate domestic markets and bring global export markets closer to home,” said Morrison. “This is particularly important to leverage the benefits of our export trade agreements for Australian agriculture.”
The budget also confirmed that an additional AUS$261m in federal funding will be invested in the construction of the Perth Freight Link.