Lifestyle

POLL: Beef capital ‘needs road train route’ through town

MARK Driscoll says Rockhampton needs to move into the 21st century if it wants to maintain its mantle as Australia's Beef Capital.

The managing director of Driscoll Pastoral Company says road trains carrying cattle must be able to travel through Rockhampton directly to the meatworks, rather than having to offload at the Gracemere Saleyards.

The issue has been thrust into the spotlight after the death last week of Rolleston's Bryson Mayne.

He suffered what proved to be fatal head injuries when he was cross-loading cattle at the saleyards.

Mr Driscoll does not want to see that tragedy repeated.

"We could eliminate a substantial percentage of risk if road trains were allowed to travel through Rockhampton," Mr Driscoll said.

"That would lessen the likelihood of any other family having to endure what this family has had to."

Road trains cannot legally travel through Rockhampton to the meatworks.

CATTLE FACTS

Teys Australia Rockhampton has a slaughtering capacity of 1731 head a day.

JBS Australia's Rockhampton facility has a daily processing capacity of 696 cattle.

Instead, drivers can bring two trailers of cattle to the saleyards and unhook one in a designated area. They then drive through the city to the meatworks and unload the first trailer then return to the saleyards to cross-load the second lot of cattle from the waiting trailer into the now-empty trailer attached to the truck.

Mr Driscoll said Rockhampton's Beef Capital tag could be threatened by such archaic practices.

"It's no good having the fanciest facade on our business out the front when down the back you find we are still branding our cattle with a bronco rail," he said.

"No longer can you have the privilege or honour of having that title associated with your city. Until you move into the 21st century by allowing road trains for cattle to drive direct to the meatworks when safe to do so, it will forever be an affliction on your city.

"Surely we can somehow manage to navigate a truck through the streets of Rockhampton during off-peak times."

Mr Driscoll is calling on the cattle industry, the Rockhampton Regional Council and the State Government to nut out a solution.

Topics:  cattle, road train



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