AgForce has pushed the red pen through Labor’s agriculture policy and says while it has some positive initiatives such as more funding for wild dog fencing and the establishment of an Agricultural Ministerial Council, it falls far short of what’s needed.
AgForce General President Grant Maudsley says , the positives are overshadowed by the one big negative which is Labor’s commitment to re-introduce flawed vegetation management laws already rightly rejected by the Queensland Parliament.
“Queensland is now the most valuable agricultural state in the country, but if we are to achieve our full potential we need both targeted industry investment and the right policy settings so farmers can get on with the job of feeding our state, our country and consumers across the world.”
He says the organisation acknowledges Labor’s commitment to establish an Agricultural Ministerial Council, which could prove useful, but says the forum needs wider Ministerial involvement to deal effectively with the natural resources, environment, transport and trade issues affecting agriculture.
He has also welcomed Labor’s commitment to continue funding the roll out wild dog fencing but says the amount allocated falls way short.
“While the $5 million over two years to support more cluster fencing is welcome and a good start, we believe $5 million a year is needed to meet the enormous demand and ensure the job gets done properly.”
Mr Maudsley says other positives in the Labor agriculture policy included a $10 million Rural Economic Development Grant program, continued funding for the Rural Jobs and Skills Alliance and $1 million for chickpea and pulses research and development.
“AgForce is pleased to see Labor will continue stamp duty exemptions on intergenerational farm transfers, but we would like to see that expanded to be more inclusive, as well as a commitment to remove stamp duty on agricultural insurance, not just a review.”