Central Highlands Regional Council councillors and Central Highlands Development Corporation representatives welcomed Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner to the region on Thursday.
The group toured the Emerald Saleyards and inspected the upgraded weighbridge used at the prime and store sale.
Minister Furner said it was great to finally get to the Central Highlands region to meet with council and visit some producers in the area.
‘Since taking over the agriculture portfolio six months ago, I have travelled more than 15,000 kilometres around the state meeting with primary producers,’ he said.
‘I know that Emerald is a regional powerhouse when it comes to economic performance so it was great to meet with the mayor and the Central Highlands Development Corporation to hear their vision for the region for the future.
‘But particularly relating to my portfolio of agriculture, to see the saleyards and visit a cotton farm as it nears the end of harvest was very interesting and will no doubt help inform future policy decisions in these areas.’
Mayor Kerry Hayes said the visit is a welcome opportunity to demonstrate, in a practical way, the reasons why improvements are needed in and beyond the Central Highlands region.
‘We’ve shown our initiative to produce quality product in our region through our agriculture capability statement,’ he said.
‘Despite a reduced national herd, our saleyards attract consistent numbers and we’re expecting a record yarding for our special weaner and feeder cattle show sale next week.
‘From a local government perspective, we are very proactive and have invested, but we need further investment from the state government level.
‘Our advocacy extends to the wider central and northern Queensland region and the need to upgrade our roads and ports to strengthen the supply chain.’