Nine South-West Mayors, including our very own Mayor Denis Cook, will meet today to discuss their plan to lobby for Oakey Beef Abattoir’s expansion into south western Queensland.
Come Friday, the mayors will be in Canberra to convince Minister for Infrastructure, Warren Truss, why money from both the federal and state governments is needed for a railway upgrade on the south western lines.
The Japanese owners of Oakey Beef are looking at investing $60 million into the project but funding from the government is necessary to complete infrastructure in towns such as Charleville, Morven and Roma.
Having cattle yard and sidings located in our towns means cattle can be easily transported from Quilpie through to Oakey, helping to increase the the processing in Oakey from 300,000 cattle a year to 570,000 with a seven-day operation.
Before heading on his trip down south, we spoke with Mayor Cook about why Oakey Beef’s expansion into the West would greatly benefit our western communities.
“It would put a lot of money into the West. We were opened up by the trains about 150 years ago, and we’ve got a railway line sitting there so I believe if we can actually talk to the government and get some infrastructure out here it would do very well,” he says.
Approval of state and federal government funding will mean opening up hundreds of job opportunities for local people, and making sure the south west remains a hub for food production.