Budget forgets agriculture
DESPITE some of the major positives to come out of the 2017/18 state budget Queensland Farmers Federation president Stuart Armitage said agriculture was still under represented in the figures.
Mr Armitage said the Queensland agricultural sector was unanimously underwhelmed with a budget that overlooked 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,” Mr Armitage said.
“It is disappointing that the reliable workhorse of rural and regional Queensland appears to be overlooked in the government’s vision for the state.”
Mr Armitage highlighted electricity prices, biosecurity and stamp duty reform as some of the key areas found lacking.
“The number one issue across agriculture, and for many other regional businesses, is unsustainable electricity prices,” Mr Armitage said.
“The government’s plan to address this was outlined prior to the budget, however QFF is reserving judgment until some price relief is demonstrated.”
The sustained calls from the agriculture sector to consider bolstering the state’s biosecurity systems was also another area of contention for the QFF.
It was also hoped that the state budget would look to remove a perceived inefficient stamp duty tax on agricultural insurance.
“It was disappointing that the State Government chose not to listen to industry on such simple and pragmatic reforms,” Mr Armitage said.
Mr Armtiage said the QFF would continue to push for these reforms.
“QFF and industry members will be working with all parties leading up the election to ensure that our vision for agriculture is supported,” Mr Armitage said.
“So it continues to be a major pillar of the state’s economy and underpins regional communities.”
NOT HAPPY: QFF president Stuart Armitage wanted more action on agriculture.