Farmers continue to criticise 'Jaws' budget

Farmers double down on criticism of Jackie Trad's 'Jaws' budget


Politics
AgForce chief executive officer Michael Guerin says its clear the Palaszczuk government doesn't understand agriculture.

AgForce chief executive officer Michael Guerin says its clear the Palaszczuk government doesn't understand agriculture.

Aa

AgForce chief executive officer Michael Guerin says its clear the Palaszczuk government doesn't understand agriculture.

Aa

PEAK farm body AgForce has doubled down on its scathing criticism of Queensland so-called 'Jaws' Budget, saying it again shows the Palaszczuk government doesn't understand agriculture and has no clear vision for the sector's future.

AgForce chief executive officer Michael Guerin said that when the headline program in the Agriculture and Fisheries portfolio was a shark netting program, Queensland's farmers and the rural and regional communities that depend on them should be "very afraid".

The broadacre lobby group has already taken one major swipe at Jackie Trad's second budget, saying far from being for regional Queensland as claimed by the treasurer, it was a budget for coastal cities and their votes.

"It is clear the government doesn't understand agriculture or actually appreciate its vital importance to the economic, employment and social fabric of rural, regional and remote Australia. - Michael Guerin, AgForce

"It is clear the government doesn't understand agriculture or actually appreciate its vital importance to the economic, employment and social fabric of rural, regional and remote Australia," Mr Guerin said.

The combative relationship between George Street and agriculture is directly linked to the Palaszczuk government's refusal to work with farmers to develop realistic vegetation management laws.

Mr Guerin said that AgForce welcomed additional funding for ongoing drought management, Great Artesian Basin capping and piping projects, and improved fire management on state land, but it was concerned there was no comprehensive strategy behind the spending.

"The Government continues to demonstrate that it has no vision for the ongoing growth and sustainability of agriculture, which contributes nearly $14 billion to the state economy every year," Mr Guerin said.

The combative relationship between George Street and agriculture is directly linked to the Palaszczuk government's refusal to work with farmers to develop realistic vegetation management laws.

The combative relationship between George Street and agriculture is directly linked to the Palaszczuk government's refusal to work with farmers to develop realistic vegetation management laws.

He said the best way to support regional Queensland was by developing a visionary road map for the agribusiness and food production sectors that contribute so much to these communities.

"A concrete plan like that would support employment growth and encourage private sector investment," he said.

"We hope the State Government gets behind the one we and other key stakeholders are currently working on with the Department of Agriculture.

"It doesn't just need to be adequately funded, but also supported by a program to reduce the red and green tape that prevents producers from productively managing their land and actually results in land degradation and other negative environmental outcomes."

Mr Guerin's questioning of the government's commitment to the Agribusiness and Food Industry Development Strategy earned a stinging rebuke from Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Minister Mark Furner.

"Completion of a comprehensive Agribusiness and Food Industry Development Strategy is fully funded under this budget, something Mr Guerin is fully aware of," a statement issued by Mr Furner to Queensland Country Life reads.

Mr Furner's rebuke also extended to LNP Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington, who claimed the Department of Agriculture was being slashed and burned.

RELATED STORY: 'Agriculture minister hits back at Budget criticism'.

RELATED STORY: 'Frecklington: Agriculture department being 'slashed and burned'.

Mr Guerin said welcomed initiatives improving market opportunities.

These included an allocation of $3.6 million over three years to mitigate pest and disease risks through the National Biosecurity System and $3.8m over four years to support agribusinesses to meet their compliance obligations.

"We would also be very interested to know more about the new export hub for regional Queensland, and the opportunities it might bring for broadacre agriculture."

Mr Guerin said the primary industries and regional communities were relieved to see $7m allocated over two years to transition the Queensland Agricultural Training Colleges to a more modern training model after they are effectively shut down at the end of this year.

"We are also pleased with funding to improve vitally important transport infrastructure - including the Kennedy Development Road and Barkly Highway - but urge the Government to commit to developing a modern, integrated transport network that has the capacity to cost effectively meet the needs of a fast growing industry."

RELATED STORY: 'Qld Budget: Trad keeps farmers safe from sharks'.

RELATED STORY: 'Electricity opportunity missed, says Canegrowers'.

The story Farmers continue to criticise 'Jaws' budget first appeared on Queensland Country Life.

Aa

From the front page

Sponsored by