Cattle truck at Dajarra
Cattle truck at Dajarra

Tragedy motivates push for infrastructure for cattle trains

THE tragic death of Bryson Mayne in 2014 "weighs heavily" on Rockhampton MP Bill Byrne's mind.

It's been the main motivation for Mr Byrne to see infrastructure built which would allow cattle road trains to travel through the city without carrying out dangerous cross loading.

The practice is one of the most dangerous aspects of the cattle transport supply chain, but type one road trains can't legally drive through Rockhampton to access the meatworks without it.

Rolleston's Bryson Mayne died after a tragic accident at the Gracemere Saleyards in August 2014 left him with critical head injuries.

While safety measures have been introduced, industry leaders and politicians have since then called for a permanent solution.

Previous proposals have focused on an off-ramp at the northern side of the Neville Hewitt Bridge.

This was identified in the 2011 Fitzroy River Floodplain and Road Planning Strategy.

Mr Byrne told The Morning Bulletin he had received a verbal briefing which indicated a feasibility study commissioned by the Department of Transport and Main Roads had found a viable option.

"The simple good news is there is a feasible option on the table," he said.

"The answer is it can be done.

"They've given us a provisional estimate."

While those cost estimates and a detailed proposal have not yet been released, securing funding would be the next hurdle for the region to overcome.

"I know we will struggle to find the sorts of dollars purely from the state environment, but I know the Federal Government … would be keenly attuned to the merits of this proposal," Mr Byrne said.

"I am reasonably confident that when the Federal Government look at this within their allocation for beef roads in the Northern Australian Plan that they will give this active and positive consideration because the merits of the case, the safety of individuals in the workplace and the efficiencies available to industry are self-evident.

"I'll be doing everything I can in the background in a somewhat apolitical way to encourage the Federal Government to give consideration to that level of support necessary to make this happen."

Despite this, Mr Byrne said the State Government wouldn't "be missing in action" on the issue and would do what it could to see the project completed.

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