New $100 million Northern Australia Beef Roads Fund

Media Release

WT130/2015

08 May 2015

Joint release with:

The Hon Tony Abbott MP

Prime Minister

The Commonwealth Government will invest $100 million improving roads that are critical to the beef industry.

A new $100 million Northern Australia Beef Roads Fund will make targeted upgrades to key roads necessary for transporting cattle. This will underpin the future viability of the cattle industry which has long been a pillar of the northern economy.

The Government is committed to realising the potential of northern Australia.

Moving cattle in the north, from farm gate to market, involves some of the longest land transport distances of any Australian commodity.

Land transports costs in the northern beef industry comprise up to 35 per cent of the market price of livestock.

The long distances raise costs and increase risks—floods and seasonal road closures can isolate producers from markets for extended periods of time.

The Northern Australia Beef Roads Fund will improve the productivity and resilience of cattle supply chains in northern Australia.

The Fund will rely on the CSIRO's state-of-the-art logistics modelling, which for the first time looks at the whole cattle supply chain—every farm, road, stopover, port and processing facility in the country.

The modelling allows analysts to test different scenarios, such as how sealing a road will influence transport times and costs. Using this approach, targeted upgrades that improve one road ‘link’ can strengthen the entire supply chain.

These improvements will also benefit other road users, boost regional communities and improve the profitability of a range of businesses—including pastoralists, livestock transporters, processors, and live exporters.

The Government expects that northern jurisdictions wanting to benefit from the Fund will contribute to the funding and consider deregulation options to benefit the industry.

We want to cut red tape and establish more consistent regulations in livestock transportation in northern Australia.