Get­ting out on the grounds

Central and North Burnett Times - - FENCE POST -

Shadow Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Deb Freck­ling­ton

TOUR: The Shadow Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter has been tour­ing our re­gion to talk to farm­ers. across the Cen­tral Bur­nett.

In par­tic­u­lar, I vis­ited Monto, Biloela and Jam­bin, trav­el­ling through the re­gion not long af­ter the dis­as­ter oc­curred.

I was able to meet with Mayor Ron Carige in the Ba­nana Shire and would es­pe­cially like to thank Cr Paul Lobegeier for tak­ing the time to in­tro­duce me to lo­cal pri­mary pro­duc­ers who’d been badly af­fected.

I wanted to as­sure them that their neigh­bours to the south in my Elec­torate of Nanango were right be­hind them and that they also had my full sup­port.

While I un­der­stand the North Bur­nett and parts of the Ba­nana Shire have had their drought dec­la­ra­tions re­voked, I would en­cour­age any pri­mary pro­duc­ers who feel their prop­er­ties are still feel­ing the ef­fects of drought to con­sider ap­ply­ing for an in­di­vid­ual droughted prop­erty dec­la­ra­tion.

I wel­come the com­mon sense Fed­eral Bud­get an­nounce­ments for pri­mary pro­duc­ers which par­tic­u­larly ac­knowl­edge and sup­port ru­ral ar­eas do­ing it tough.

There are tax de­duc­tions avail­able for wa­ter fa­cil­i­ties, fod­der stor­age as­sets and fenc­ing costs – prac­ti­cal mea­sures which can make a real dif­fer­ence for farm­ing fam­i­lies.

Plus there’s $1.8 mil­lion to fund an ad­di­tional 10 coun­sel­lors un­der the Ru­ral Fi­nan­cial Coun­selling Ser­vice.

This is an ex­tremely worth­while ser­vice which de­serves ex­tra sup­port as I know how im­por­tant th­ese coun­sel­lors have been in help­ing peo­ple through such hard times.

Over­all, I want to as­sure our farm­ers and fish­ers that my aim is to pro­vide them with strong rep­re­sen­ta­tion and con­tinue to high­light the is­sues which are im­por­tant to our pri­mary pro­duc­ers and their fam­i­lies.

I would en­cour­age lo­cal pro­duc­ers and in­dus­try groups to make con­tact with my of­fice to high­light is­sues which need rep­re­sen­ta­tion.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

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