June 12, 2019
The Queensland Farmers’ Federation has acknowledged increased spending in the agriculture portfolio in the 2019-20 State Budget but has questioned some of the government’s funding choices.
CEO Travis Tobin said agriculture seemed to be missing out on its fair share of stimulus funding to address some critical competitiveness and productivity issues.
“Credit to the government for maintaining funding for drought relief and disaster recovery arrangements and continuing to recognise the importance of biosecurity with funding for control and eradication programs of exotic pests, diseases and weeds,” Mr Tobin said.
“An unwavering commitment to these areas is a must for the sector.
“The government should also be commended for listening to QFF and recognising that dam safety is a public good that should not be borne by farmers, with funding allocated for SunWater’s Dam Improvement Program.
“Some obvious and overdue funding measures that were missing in the Budget were abolishing stamp duty on agricultural insurance, backing for the holistic industry-led schools engagement program and better addressing electricity and water affordability.”
Mr Tobin said the government needed to demonstrate a more strategic intent towards agriculture if the sector was to take the next step forward.
“Without more targeted and deliberate action from government, agriculture will not fully capitalise on the exciting opportunities that are unquestionably there,” he said.