WILL TAKE IT: President of the Gumlu Growers Association Carl Walker said Bowen would welcome a $10 million produce distribution centre. He is pictured here with Leanne Born, Cherry Emerick, Minister Mark Furner and Mike Brunker.
WILL TAKE IT: President of the Gumlu Growers Association Carl Walker said Bowen would welcome a $10 million produce distribution centre. He is pictured here with Leanne Born, Cherry Emerick, Minister Mark Furner and Mike Brunker.

Export hub potential for Whitsunday Coast Airport

THE Whitsunday Coast Airport could provide the means for the region to secure a new fresh produce export distribution centre, the head of the region's economic group has said.

The State Government has announced that registrations of interest for the centre are now open, with an export hub to be built in an area close to agriculture and near an export-ready regional airport.

The facility would provide an employment boost to the selected area.

Minister for State Development and Infrastructure Cameron Dick said the Palaszczuk government committed up to $10 million from the Jobs and Regional Growth Fund to fund a business case and capital investment plan for the project.

He said the funds would seek to supercharge growth in Queensland's agricultural sector by increasing the export and value of time critical produce.

The only question that remains is where it will be built.

"We're currently at the registration of interest stage, which will promote market awareness. An expression of interest stage to seek detailed proposals will follow,” said Mr Dick.

Mr Dick said the export distribution centre would be built in an area close to agriculture and near an export-ready regional airport.

Garry Scanlan from Greater Whitsunday Alliance said both Mackay and the Whitsundays could be suitable options.

"Both Whitsunday and Mackay are hub and spoke airports and have regular connections to major regional centres that have international airports. So that supply chain could be put together quite efficiently and economically,” he said.

Registrations close 5pm, June 29, 2018. Register via dsdmip.qld.gov.au/export.