More than 30 regional communities and businesses have registered interest in hosting Queensland’s new $10 million produce export distribution centre since registrations opened in May.

The project will see the establishment of a pilot Regional Export Distribution Centre to boost rapid access to international markets for Queensland agricultural producers, and to stimulate high-value farming and processing, and regional job creation.

Registrations of interest have been received from across Queensland, with proposed locations for the new centre including Bundaberg, Townsville, Toowoomba, Rockhampton, Cairns, Mackay and the Whitsundays.

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick welcomed the high number of registrations of interest.

‘The export centre will create regional jobs and enhance productivity, capitalising on our global reputation as a leader in the production and processing of quality agricultural produce,’ he said.

‘It’s great to see so many registrations of interest in the project and we’re now moving to the next stage by calling for expressions of interest from potential proponents capable of developing and operating a commercial export distribution centre in a regional Queensland location.’

Mr Dick said the centre would include processing capacity, export biosecurity capabilities, cold storage, and handling facilities to support predominantly agricultural exports.

He said the new centre could be located in any regional Queensland location that has a connection with, or planned pathway to connect with, a regionally based airport with international export capacity.

‘Our number one priority is to attract proponents capable of developing and operating a commercially viable export centre at a regional Queensland location,’ he said.

‘Potential proponents across the agricultural supply chain – from farmers, cooperatives, agricultural processors and distributors, freight and logistics companies through to airport owners/operators and local government entities – are invited to lodge an expression of interest.’

Proponents have until 5pm on 2 October 2018 to lodge an expression of interest, and do not need to have submitted a registration in the earlier process.

To join an information webinar to learn more about the project before the 2 October deadline, email REDCPilot@dsdmip.qld.gov.au.

Increasing Queensland’s share of national exports is one of the main goals of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

The Queensland Government has committed up to $10 million from the Jobs and Regional Growth Fund to help fund the pilot export distribution centre.

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