A multimillion dollar regional export hub is expected to be up and running in Toowoomba, Qld, by the end of the year, helping give agricultural producers greater access to overseas markets.
Work is underway on the Toowoomba Wellcamp Trade Distribution Centre at Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport with it expected the final slab pour will be finished by the end of February, allowing the rest of construction to get underway.
The facility will export premium goods including beef, dairy products, fresh fruit and vegetables, pork and packaged nuts.
Deputy Premier and state development minister Steven Miles said the state government was investing $10 million to support this regional trade hub.
"The Toowoomba Wellcamp Trade Distribution Centre will supercharge airfreight access for agricultural producers in the Toowoomba and Darling Downs region," Mr Miles said.
"The distribution centre will open up international markets for graziers and growers making it easier to export our world's-best produce."
Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport owners Wagner Corporation have appointed Queensland-based Hutchinson Builders as the principal contractor to manage the project build.
Steady progress has been made on the trade distribution centre since the October 2019 announcement that Toowoomba and Cairns would both receive support to develop agricultural export hubs.
Treasurer and investment minister Cameron Dick said exports remained vital to the Queensland economy.
"Once completed, the facility will deliver over 4,000 square metres in gross floor area comprising of 1500 square metres of state-of-the-art refrigerated storage, freezer rooms and temperature-controlled transit areas as well as large ambient transit and covered external storage areas," he said.
"This expansion of Wellcamp's cold storage capability will give our world-leading primary producers and exporters an edge by increasing product shelf life and getting products back into international markets that just can't get enough of Queensland's high-quality food, fibre and manufactured products."
Wagner Corporation chairman John Wagner said the Toowoomba-based company was proud to be working with the Queensland government on this world-class export facility and promoting the growth of Queensland exports and jobs.
"We are pleased to be able to progress works on this project so quickly to help our producers and suppliers get back on their feet after COVID-19 disruptions in 2020," Mr Wagner said.
"Since commencing in late 2016, Wellcamp's international freighter operations have shown year-on-year growth for both inbound and outbound volumes, and we expect this to continue with the completion of the RTDC."
Want to read more stories like this?
Sign up below to receive our e-newsletter delivered fresh to your email in-box twice a week.