9.30am: The Commonwealth Government will invest $100 million improving roads that are critical to the beef industry.

"A new $100 million Northern Australia Beef Roads Fund will make targeted upgrades to key roads necessary for transporting cattle," Prime Minister Tony Abbott said.

"This will underpin the future viability of the cattle industry which has long been a pillar of the northern economy.

"The Government is committed to realising the potential of northern Australia.

"Moving cattle in the north, from farm gate to market, involves some of the longest land transport distances of any Australian commodity.

"Land transports costs in the northern beef industry comprise up to 35 per cent of the market price of livestock. 

"The long distances raise costs and increase risks - floods and seasonal road closures can isolate producers from markets for extended periods of time. 

"The Northern Australia Beef Roads Fund will improve the productivity and resilience of cattle supply chains in northern Australia.

"The Fund will rely on the CSIRO's state-of-the-art logistics modelling, which for the first time looks at the whole cattle supply chain - every farm, road, stopover, port and processing facility in the country.

"The modelling allows analysts to test different scenarios, such as how sealing a road will influence transport times and costs. Using this approach, targeted upgrades that improve one road 'link' can strengthen the entire supply chain.

"These improvements will also benefit other road users, boost regional communities and improve the profitability of a range of businesses - including pastoralists, livestock transporters, processors, and live exporters.

"The Government expects that northern jurisdictions wanting to benefit from the Fund will contribute to the funding and consider deregulation options to benefit the industry.

"We want to cut red tape and establish more consistent regulations in livestock transportation in northern Australia."

8.35am: PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has announced $100 million to upgrade beef roads in Northern Australia.

He said the need was identified in the White Paper and the funds will be in Tuesday night's Federal Budget.

Mr Abbott said given that 33% of the cost of beef production was spent on transport, this was an important investment.


8am: PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has arrived at Beef Australia 2015 where he is expected to make a roads funding announcement shortly.

Mr Abbott has inspected some of the Bulls, talked with students, taken selfies with the public and met with LNP supporters so far.

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