The 2017 Developing Northern Australia Conference will be held next month at the Pullman Cairns International Hotel over 19-20 June.

Mr Michel Colen, Manager Executive Services for Gladstone Regional Council will be joining us to discuss the Gladstone Port Access Road upgrade – building the road from producers to Asia”.

Michel Colen

The impending Rookwood Weir development on the Fitzroy River, coupled with an increased demand for high quality agricultural product in Asia, presents the opportunity for a substantially increased amount of agricultural goods to be exported from the Gladstone port.

At present, more than 192,000 trucks bypass Gladstone to transport agricultural produce to Brisbane for export. This will increase exponentially when Rookwood Weir supplies water to highly productive agricultural land in central Queensland.

In order to make the most of these opportunities the Gladstone Region road network needs to be upgraded to enable road trains to deliver goods directly to the port.

Improving the Port Access Road would follow already upgraded timber bridges on the Dawson Highway, enabling road trains travelling from Biolela to bypass Calliope and deliver product all the way to the Gladstone port. Completing Stage 2 of the Port Access Road, the bypassing of Calliope and construction of a Bruce Highway overpass will cost more than $200 million in total.

However, the savings generated by this investment would be significant, with more than $80 million per year saved by removing the need to truck products to Toowoomba and break road trains before delivering into the Port of Brisbane.

Delivering products directly to Gladstone port would also create 400 jobs in the Gladstone region, with shipping exports already leaving for Singapore on a weekly basis expected to increase greatly in the future.