QFF 2022 Federal Election Position
The Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) is seeking commitment on policies that secure a sustainable future for irrigated and intensive farmers, the agriculture sector and rural economies more broadly in Queensland. Our agricultural sector is a key foundation of the Queensland economy, the Australian economy and critical to the future success of our regions. In Queensland the agricultural sector is worth well over $23B and expanding, but farmers need a favourable operating environment to enable our sector to overcome challenges and capitalise on future growth opportunities.
QFF is calling on all political parties to demonstrate leadership, and articulate a clear vision and a willingness to work closely with industry to address the challenges and harness the opportunities relating to key areas including workforce, natural capital, energy and water, biosecurity, connectivity and infrastructure.
QFF calls for:
- Securing the future of our agriculture’s workforce.
A comprehensive workforce strategy to support one of the key inputs critical to underpinning the future sustainability of the sector, enable farmers to successfully attract and retained skilled works which will ultimately contribute to stabilising the real cost of food production in Australia.
We need a strong, sovereign workforce that is complemented by an international workforce supported by an effective Ag Visa program and strong global relationships.
A revitalisation of the VET and Tertiary sector to attract and train students with both the practical and higher-level skills that are required in today and tomorrow’s agricultural sector.
Research and development, along with the development of artificial intelligence must also be part of the solution for workforce challenges and the creation of jobs of the future.
- Securing the future of agricultural communities
Social policies to compliment economic strategies to secure the liveability and long-term growth of our agriculture communities in regional and rural Queensland.
Regional and rural housing investment is a priority to address today’s shortages and tomorrow’s growth as well as a long-term commitment to building better digital, air, road and rail connectivity.
Policies and a commitment to developing the future of vital services in rural and regional Queensland are critical if we are to build strong communities.
- Securing the future of our natural capital.
Polices that include the consideration of climate change variability in the development of water infrastructure, on-farm water and energy efficiencies and climate mitigation technologies, to support sustainable farming practices and deliver sound environmental outcomes.
As the natural capital space continues to evolve rapidly, farmers require support to better understand and assess the risks and opportunities in biodiversity and crediting schemes for their individual farming enterprises.
Farmers are important stewards of a significant proportion of Queensland’s landscape, and policies that reward farmers and encourage a culture of on-farm innovation and coexistence of farm sustainability and environmental stewardship are required.
Strategic investment in education, best practice and on farm technology and efficiencies will deliver tangible and sustainable natural capital outcomes for our sector and our communities on our journey to a low emissions future.
- Securing the future of our water and energy supply.
Policy underpinned by a clear plan for water security incorporating the future impacts of climate variability across the state. Water is a critical input for the agricultural sector, and essential for the future growth of agriculture.
Strategic investment in modernising and maximising existing infrastructure and the development of new infrastructure such as the recently announced Bowen Pipeline, based on strong business cases that provide affordable and secure water solutions for key regions is required.
A focus on improving the energy and water productivity nexus on-farm to drive efficiencies must be supported by policy, and a strategy that includes investment in new energy technologies in genuine consultation with farmers to provide a secure and affordable source of energy as the complexities of the energy transition play out over the coming years.
- Securing the future of our biosecurity capability
A strong, well-resourced policy position to build Australia’s biosecurity capability that includes engagement at a state and regional level, support for on-farm biosecurity programs and utilisation of surveillance, diagnostic and traceability technology.
- Securing the future of farm enterprise resilience
Well thought out policy that works closely with industry to improve food supply chain efficiencies, effective competition law reform, a future fuels strategy and the development of viable onshore manufacturing opportunities is called for to help build farm enterprise resilience.
Policy that supports farmers to build resilience, self-manage risk and be better prepared for the future makes good business sense and is important in ensuring a sustainable future for agriculture.