Budget rated letdown
AgForce boss claims State Budget falls short for farmers
FARM lobby groups have criticised the 2017-2018 State Budget for its lax response to agricultural issues.
AgForce general president Grant Maudsley said the State Government had outlined no clear vision to help the industry grow and prosper.
“While there are billions of dollars set aside for road and rail projects in south east Queensland, there appears to be no major new funding for regional and rural transport initiatives that would make it safer, easier and cheaper to get farm goods to market,” Mr Maudsley said.
Minister for Agriculture Bill Byrne said additional funding would be allocated to support agricultural recovery from the effects of drought in many areas, as well as an investment in drought resilience.
“While rainfall received so far has seen a reduction in drought-declared areas to a little more than 66%t, much of Queensland is still in the grip of this drought and provision has been made for up to $20 million in expenditure for the Drought Relief Assistance Scheme,” Mr Byrne said.
Mr Maudsley welcomed the continued assistance measures for those battling drought.
“The prolonged drought has taken an enormous financial, emotional and environmental toll on many Queenslanders so assistance to help primary producers and regional communities through these tough times is always welcome,” he said.
Mr Maudsley however criticised the $1.25 million allocation spent on pest and disease management, claiming it fell short of the mark.
“Wild dog exclusion fencing has helped revitalise the sheep and wool industry in Queensland, and while the extra $1 million in funding is welcome, it falls short of what is needed to meet demand,” he said.
Mr Byrne said response and eradication is a top priority across Queensland.
NOT GOOD ENOUGH: AgForce Queensland president Grant Maudsley is disappointed with the State Budget.