QUEENSLAND’S agricultural groups have today urged any incoming State Government to refocus on industry-specific issues following Saturday’s election to bolster confidence within the sector and capitalise upon significant growth opportunities.
AgForce and Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) collectively represent thousands of primary producers from each of the agricultural commodities produced in the state. Representatives of both organisations said, in an election campaign which has largely been dominated by broader issues including the economy and asset leasing, they were looking forward to working with government to lock down policy frameworks which promote long-term industry prosperity.
“If agriculture is to enter into the golden-age predicted by analysts throughout the world in response to growing demand for our product in Asia we require strong leadership from a government of any persuasion to set in place a policy base which facilitates the sustainable and profitable production of high-quality food and fibre,” AgForce General President, Grant Maudsley, said
“Some positive steps have been taken over the last three years with changes to the Vegetation Management Act and reform of land tenure and leasehold rents.
“We are now looking to our government, regardless of who this may be, to sit down with us as a matter of priority following the election to detail how we will drive and lead a prosperous rural sector for the benefit of all Queenslanders.”
QFF President, Joanne Grainger said a long-lasting plan for agriculture incorporating what industry has already clearly communicated to all candidates was required.
“Both AgForce and QFF have made very clear to all candidates that what is urgently required are clear pathways for reducing the cost of electricity and transport, investing in key infrastructure including ports and the rail and road network, and making sure agriculture is not bogged down in unnecessary and counter-productive regulation,” Ms Grainger said.
“Our industry also needs increased investment in the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Queensland and Biosecurity Queensland and further development of the legislation surrounding regional planning.
“The LNP has relied on its track record in the campaign as they have shown, over the course of the last three years, they are committed to agriculture by making the industry one of the four key pillars of the economy, implementing significant reforms to regional planning, vegetation and water management, and setting a positive structure to engage with industry, but detail is required on what a next term would hold should they be successful on Saturday.
“Agriculture has potential to greatly increase its contribution to the state in a responsible and innovative manner but cannot deliver on this without appropriate policy frameworks.
“We urge our candidates to outline their vision for agriculture in Queensland for the next three years and beyond.”