Premier to make announcement at Gracemere saleyards today

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman.
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman. Kari Bourne

7.28am: POLITICIANS will be rounded up at the Gracemere saleyards for an announcement this morning.

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman and Agriculture Minister John McVeigh are expected to make an announcement about 11am at the Central Queensland Livestock Exchange.

The pair will also make an announcement in Emerald this morning at the Nogoa River Rail Bridge.

9am: PREMIER Campbell Newman and Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry John McVeigh will be in Rockhampton today to launch a $5 million fund to support the cattle industry during disease outbreaks.

Mr Newman said it was particularly significant given the outbreak of bovine Johne's disease.

"Beef production is the State's most valuable agricultural industry and is essential to the Queensland economy," Mr Newman said.

"It is worth more than $4.5billion a year and supports more than 13,000 jobs, as well as an additional 12,000 jobs in meat processing and 30,000 along the supply chain."

The assistance program, the Queensland Cattle Industry Biosecurity Fund, is a $2million grant and a loan of up to $3million to be matched dollar-for-dollar by cattle producers through an industry levy.

"The loan will be repayable through the industry levy, but this is about getting an assistance program operating now that can help producers caught up with BJD and any further disease outbreaks in our beef industry in the future."

Mr Newman is expected to start the day in Emerald with a Royalties for the Region funding announcement prior to his Rockhampton visit.

9.10am: Premier Campbell Newman today announced a $5 million commitment to start work on the Central Highlands' Nogoa River Rail Bridge flood mitigation project.

Emerald's Nogoa River Rail Bridge Capacity Improvement and Upstream Levee Development is the first project to receive funding from the Newman Government's $495 million Royalties for the Regions program.

Mr Newman said the State contribution, combined with a $1.25 million contribution from Central Highlands Regional Council (CHRC), was a win for the local community and would provide much needed infrastructure in one of the areas it was most needed.

"The Council put forward a very strong business case for this project," Mr Newman said.

"The floods in Emerald in recent years have underscored the urgent need for mitigation measures.  In 2010, 1,060 residences had water over their floors.

"The measures we're announcing today will help protect Emerald against future flooding events such as those experienced in 2008 and 2010, which had a devastating impact on homes and businesses.

"The scope of the project works will include the installation of culverts, the excavation of a larger opening under the rail bridge to improve the flow of water underneath, and the construction of levees upstream to protect against flood waters."

Mr Newman said Royalties for the Regions was about reinvesting a share of mining royalties from the regions in which they were earned, to help build new and improved community, road and floodplain security infrastructure.

"Other projects submitted for funding address a broad range of regional community, road and flood mitigation projects - from medical centres to water and waste treatment facilities.

"We're delighted to get behind this project and we will be announcing further projects which have met the criteria for funding in the coming weeks.

"Discussions are continuing about the financial commitment coming from the Commonwealth to ensure priority projects from the Floodplain Security Scheme can go ahead."

Topics:  agriculture mininster, campbell newman, gracemere, john mcveigh, saleyards



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