At the time of writing, it seems all but certain the ALP will be re-elected on a wafer thin majority.
If this is the case, we would like to congratulate Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and her team. We look forward to working with them over the next parliamentary term.
A key issue for our sector is the appointment of a new Agriculture Minister who will be a strong voice for agriculture in Cabinet.
Unfortunately, engagement with the Minister’s office in the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries proved difficult in the last term for a range of reasons and we are keen to rebuild a stronger relationship with the new Minister.
Horticulture is an important economic generator within our state and we would like greater recognition of the significance of our sector and a willingness to work together to enable it to reach its full potential.
Growcom strives to develop evidence-based policy positions that will assist our industry to be sustainable and profitable. We pride ourselves on our link with our growers through joint-initiatives such as the Queensland Horticulture Council and we urge the new government to work closely with this group.
The best management practice (BMP) framework developed by industry is a useful mechanism to deliver practice change across the board, and we appreciate the support provided by successive governments of all political persuasions. Growcom is keen to work with the new government to foster this voluntary approach rather than heading towards costly, inflexible regulatory regimes. In particular, we are calling on the new government to develop a scientifically supported approach to vegetation management based on risk and clearly defined policy objectives.
As has been raised in previous columns, we call for urgent investment in plant based biosecurity, particularly in the high level scientific expertise required to respond to import risk assessments and risk management.
We look forward to continued engagement with the government in relation to the regulations underpinning the new labour hire licensing scheme to ensure they are fit for purpose and appropriately targeted.