While the oil and gas market delivers tough blows to the regional economy, growing infrastructure out west looks set to complement growth in agriculture for the wider Maranoa region.
A Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise (TSBE) meeting in Roma this month detailed plans to drive logistics hubs away from the major centres and closer to growers and producers.
According to TSBE CEO Shane Charles, key developments include inland rail, the Roma airport upgrade and a $1.7 billion inland road project – Australia’s largest to date.
“Toowoomba can’t be as successful as it could be unless the regions around us are successful so we need Roma to be pumping and supplying product through to take advantage of that logistics capability,” he says.
Transportation of beef supplies from western regions will be a key outcome of future infrastructure developments.
“We’re really pushing hard at the moment for a better rail system right out to Western Queensland to make sure they can get their beef quickly and easily to a market whether it be the Roma sale yards or through to abattoirs further in Toowoomba,” says Mr Charles.
“We really think there’s a good opportunity to export goods from this region right around the world.”
Maranoa regional Mayor is also optimistic about future growth of the region with the completion of the Roma Airport Industrial Precinct.
“This precinct will allow industrial and commercial ventures to capitalise on airport operations and vehicle accessibility on the Carnarvon Highway, which is the main thoroughfare between Roma and the north,” Mayor Loughnan says.