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Long wait for the crossing

Exciting Times: Johnston's Livestock Transport managing director George Johnston, is looking forward to the completion of the Toowoomba second range crossing.
Exciting Times: Johnston's Livestock Transport managing director George Johnston, is looking forward to the completion of the Toowoomba second range crossing. Kevin Farmer

THE Toowoomba second range crossing has been a long time coming for transport companies.

The sod was turned on the $1.6 billion three-year project recently.

When the project is complete it will mean heavy vehicles can avoid 18 sets of traffic lights in Toowoomba.

Johnston's Livestock Transport owner George Johnston said the project would make his business and the industry more productive and efficient.

"It will take off, I would presume, 30 minutes each way," he said.

Mr Johnston is a past president of the Queensland Livestock Transport Association and was initially involved with the bypass plans.

"From Withcott to Charlton takes us an hour and it's only 20km," he said.

"So we will be able to do that trip in about 20 minutes.

"It's productivity, instead of doing three loads a day we might be able to do four.

"You will use less fuel, it's going to be a lot easier on your brakes and all those other components.

"It's going to be terrific."

Mr Johnston said he thought the region would eventually need the inland rail and the region would become a transport hub.

"Logistically, when you look at it, it's the centre for everything. When you have got people like the Wagners investing in the growth of the industry and the community, it will all go well, I reckon," he said.

Johnston's Livestock Transport is based in Oakey, has eight B-doubles and road trains and has just taken delivery of a new and innovation B-triple trailer from Rytrans in Toowoomba.

Mr Johnston started up the business gradually after leaving a grazing property in Tambo in 1998, where he was born and bred.

He said he had been involved with trucks for most of his life, including doing work on the Brisbane International Airport with his tipper after the beef industry collapsed in 1973.

"I started off (the business) with one truck and just worked it myself and just built my way up," he said.

"But I used to feed a lot of cattle for Arounui feedlot because AACo bought it and I was carting my own cattle and they said 'George, you may as well cart for us too' and it just grew from there."

His company specialises in wagyu cattle transport across the country, with two main clients - Edwards Pastoral Company and the Australian Agricultural Company.

The Toowoomba second range crossing is due to be completed in late 2018.

Topics:  livestock transport business, toowoomba bypass, trucks


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