State Elec­tion case of deja vu for hor­ti­cul­ture

Central and North Rural Weekly - - FIND A - PAT HAN­NAN

IT IS with a sense of deja vu we head into an­other Queens­land elec­tion.

A re­view of the Grow­com 2015 elec­tion state­ment re­veals whilst there has been some progress, hor­ti­cul­ture is still bat­tling with en­ergy costs, limited pro­tec­tion of agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion ar­eas and lack of in­vest­ment in plant-based biose­cu­rity.

Again we call on all par­ties to make mean­ing­ful re­forms to rein in elec­tric­ity prices and stop blame shift­ing be­tween political par­ties and lev­els of govern­ment.

We wel­come the re­cent an­nounce­ment of an ex­ten­sion to the en­ergy savers pro­gram, but this will only solve part of the is­sue.

We com­mend the cur­rent govern­ment for its biose­cu­rity ca­pa­bil­ity re­view and the de­vel­op­ment of the new Biose­cu­rity Strat­egy, how­ever shared re­spon­si­bil­ity can­not oc­cur un­til the Queens­land Govern­ment meets its re­spon­si­bil­i­ties through im­proved in­vest­ment in plant biose­cu­rity.

We call on all par­ties to in­vest in plant biose­cu­rity to the same level as an­i­mal biose­cu­rity, par­tic­u­larly in high level sci­en­tific ex­per­tise.

Whilst all par­ties give lip ser­vice to the im­por­tance of agri­cul­ture and agri­cul­tural land, we need a con­sis­tent and mean­ing­ful clas­si­fi­ca­tion of good qual­ity agri­cul­tural land that en­sures it is ad­e­quately con­sid­ered in plan­ning de­ci­sions.

Whilst we com­mend the cur­rent govern­ment for mak­ing some progress on de­vel­op­ing a strat­egy to as­sist agri­cul­ture to adapt to cli­mate change, it is dis­ap­point­ing there is a re­ac­tive ap­proach to dis­as­ter man­age­ment rather than cul­ti­vat­ing a re­silience ca­pa­bil­ity across the state.

The BMP frame­work de­vel­oped by in­dus­try and sup­ported by suc­ces­sive gov­ern­ments is a use­ful mech­a­nism to de­liver on-farm prac­tice change Grow­com is seek­ing to work with any new govern­ment to foster this vol­un­tary ap­proach rather than head­ing to­wards costly, in­flex­i­ble reg­u­la­tory regimes.

In par­tic­u­lar, we are call­ing on both par­ties to de­velop a risk-based ap­proach to nat­u­ral re­source man­age­ment with clearly de­fined pol­icy ob­jec­tives

On a more pos­i­tive note, suc­ces­sive gov­ern­ments have sup­ported work­force de­vel­op­ment in agri­cul­ture and we call on all par­ties to con­tinue their sup­port for the Queens­land Agri­cul­tural Work­force Net­work.

❝ We need a con­sis­tent and mean­ing­ful clas­si­fi­ca­tion of good qual­ity agri­cul­tural land...

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