The Queensland Farmers Federation says the State Governments’’ 2017-18 Budget falls disappointingly falls short of delivering upon the hype.
President Stuart Armitage says Queensland’s agricultural sector is unanimously underwhelmed with a Budget that lacks vision and overlooks the importance and crucial role agriculture plays in Queensland’s rural and regional communities.
“The State Budget has failed to properly fund and support a vision that rightfully places Queensland agriculture as a major contributor and employer in the state. It is disappointing that the reliable workhorse of rural and regional Queensland appears to be overlooked in the government’s vision for the state.”
“The number one issue across agriculture, and for many other regional businesses, is unsustainable electricity prices. The government’s plan to address this was outlined prior to the budget, however QFF is reserving judgement until some price relief is demonstrated.”
“We commend the government’s continued investment into biosecurity through the containment and eradication of white spot disease and panama tropical race 4; however, funding to build much needed capacity is missing.”
“Queensland agriculture has been calling for a considered and substantial bolstering of the state’s biosecurity capabilities to ensure we have a system that appropriately invests in precautionary as well as reactionary measures.”
Mr Armitage says another major blow has been the failure of the State Budget to remove the inefficient stamp duty tax on agricultural insurance.
And he has been critical of what he says are government moves to once again make its funding towards improving water quality entering the Great Barrier Reef a centre piece of its environmental policy.
“Unfortunately, $35 million a year is not an increase on previously allocated investment to address the issue. It falls well short of matching the government’s rhetoric around the level of improvement that it claims must be made and the funding required to realize the targets that have been set.”
Mr Armitage says he’s committed the organization to work with all parties leading up the election to ensure that a vision for agriculture is supported into the future.
“Queensland agriculture needs a government that not only talks up agriculture, but delivers upon its words by providing the right frameworks for our sector to continue growing and realizing its potential.”