CALLIOPE grazier and Gladstone Regional Councillor Leo Neill-Ballantine was forthright on how the area's grains industry would prosper when the Port of Gladstone failed to prioritise agriculture.
"What does the goverment propose to do to alleviate the competition between the resource sector and agriculture with port access?" Cr Neill-Ballantine said
"One would think that the Port of Gladstone would be a pretty strategic port for Queensland and particularly when you've got the likes of the Gladstone Ports Corporation not even acknowledging agriculture in their short or long-term plan," he said.
Premier Campbell Newman assured Cr Neill-Ballantine the government wasn't planning to privatise the GPC.
"I have a very firm view that ports are a vital part of the mix for any government for how you actually get economic outcomes," Mr Newman said. "Once you sell them off, you have no policy control. That's my personal position, not the Government's.
"But you're right about lack of focus for agriculture in the port.
"It is all about gas and coal and aluminium - we will take that up with the chairman. I really think we should ask the GPC what they're doing to facilitate agribusiness."
Mr Neill-Ballantine warned that the GPC would simply direct him to use the "second-rate" ports of Bundaberg or Port Alma.
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