SOUTHERN NSW farmers will have a more direct link to booming export markets in Asia with Canberra airport now opening its doors to international cargoes.
An announcement in January opened the door to Canberra International Airport commencing flights to Singapore and Wellington in September, via Singapore Airlines.
Federal Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb will address an event at the Airport on Friday where the new overseas air-routes will be explored in terms of passenger travel and export opportunity for farmers.
The International Freight Symposium will also include input from local horticultural businesses and talks by ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr and NSW Transport & Infrastructure Minister Andrew Constance.
Mr Robb said given the importance of trade and investment to the national economy the efficient movement of both goods and people was “fundamental”.
“When you enhance connectivity, in particular aviation links, you inevitably also boost trade and investment,” he said.
“In this respect it’s terrific to see what’s happening at Canberra Airport.
“As the only 747-capable, curfew-free airport between Brisbane and Melbourne, Canberra is an increasingly attractive alternative to sending freight from Sydney.
“In terms of the freight movements of goods and produce, recent experience shows how improved connectivity increases exports.”
Federal Liberal MP Angus Taylor believes the new international routes out of Canberra are a welcome stepping stone to enhance farm-exports – especially time-sensitive produce like cherries – and ensure his Hume electorate is “globally connected”.
“It will be a game changer for our region,” he said.
“Not only will it truly put us on the tourism map, it will provide the platform for many of our innovative businesses to expand, export and grow.”
Mr Taylor said the new air routes provided opportunity to export cherries produced by growers in his electorate like those in the Yass Valley and Young Shire and other products.