The Livestock and Rural Transport Association of Queensland has called for the Queensland Government and local councils to work with industry to develop a plan for the construction and funding of managed roadside disposal sites for livestock effluent.
LRTAQ President, Ian Wild, said Queensland has a strong public interest in protecting the livestock supply chain and it was vital to plan ahead to ensure that the sector can co-exist with rapid urbanisation in South East Queensland.
“Queensland is home to the largest cattle heard in Australia and can ill-afford to ignore controllable risks to the livestock supply chain,” Mr Wild said.
“There are four major abattoirs in the Brisbane area with four major highways (Bruce, Cunningham, Warrego, Brisbane Valley) carrying many tens of thousands of animals for processing annually. While professional livestock carriers who enter this area are using effluent capture tanks, they are unable to fully control effluent loss because of the poor animal preparation practices of other parties in the chain and a complete lack of managed roadside disposal infrastructure.
“As the urban population in South East Queensland continues to rise, so too do concerns about effluent loss and potential impacts on road safety, biosecurity risk, animal welfare and public amenity.
“The Federal Government has estimated that an outbreak of foot and mouth disease would cost more than $40b to the national economy and effluent is a known vector for spread of the disease.
“Our compatriots in New Zealand have recognised and addressed this problem with a comprehensive effluent management strategy that includes the installation of managed roadside effluent disposal facilities around key ‘hot spots’ such as we have in South East Queensland.
“LRTAQ is sending a representative as part of an Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association delegation to New Zealand, 26-29 April 2017, to inspect roadside effluent facilities and discuss issues around funding, site selection and management.
“With more than $1b being spent on the second Toowoomba range crossing, now is the time for the Queensland Government and Local Councils to commence planning for the construction and funding of managed roadside disposal sites for livestock effluent in South East Queensland,” said President Wild.