REBUILDING THE AGRICULTURAL SECTOR
WHAT I BELIEVE
Farming is critical to the economic, social and cultural development of our state. Farmers have fed our growing population and have been at the forefront of this State’s development since its inception. They are stewards of the land, producers of our food and carers of our livestock. Farming is the lifeblood on which every Australian relies. Farmers are on the brink with competing land uses, the migrating urban fringe, inner city politicians imposing restrictive legislation and bureaucratic red tape at every corner. To add to these woes, the industry has been bearing the burden of the most crushing drought in living memory since 2017. As at 1 May 2020, there are a total of 41 councils and 4 part-council areas drought declared. These declarations represent 67.4% of the land area of Queensland. There are also 28 Individual Droughted Properties (IDPs) in a further 11 Local Government Areas. With vast areas of the State in drought or intense drought. The industry cannot simply be expected to rebound from these events in the economic climate that we now face.
Government support programs do not go far enough and do not allow farmers to get back to doing what they do best – grow the food and fibre that we rely on. The national cattle herd is at its lowest in almost 30 years. Many Australian farmers and graziers do not have the money to restock their herds of replant their crops. If no help is given, farmers and graziers will be forced to just walk off their land or be forced to sell to foreign companies for far less then what their properties are worth.
MY ACTION PLAN
1. I support urgent financial support for farmers and graziers to restore and restock their farming enterprises to their once productive state.
2. I will advocate strongly for the introduction of a re-sowing and restocking grant program to rebuild the agricultural and grazing industries to the great pillars of our state that they once were. With agriculture in QLD representing $10 and $15 billion, grants should be on balance with what the industry will bring in. If we don’t get this right, we are only hamstringing ourselves now and our children into the future. The consequences of getting this wrong is our agricultural land will be sold to foreign companies and we will be the servants of new masters.