The Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) has welcomed the release of the Queensland Drought Program Review and the opportunity to continue working with the state government to get the right policy settings for the sector to help farmers better prepare for and manage through droughts.
The independent expert panel, consisting of former QFF CEO Ruth Wade and former AgForce CEO Charles Burke, made 20 recommendations of which the Queensland Government accepted 13 outright and another six in principle.
QFF President Stuart Armitage thanked the panel for their wide-ranging consultation with industry and regional communities, welcomed their considered recommendations and appealed to the Queensland Government to ensure it provided appropriate levels of ongoing support to implement the recommendations.
“QFF has long held the view that the state’s current drought framework is out of date. Various elements have not helped farmers to better prepare for or manage drought,” Mr Armitage said.
“Many of these recommendations reflect the sensible drought reform that QFF has been advocating for to assist farmers bolster their adaptation capabilities and build greater resilience into their businesses.”
“Drought reform is never easy for farmers or government, so this review is an important step towards realising a better prepared and more robust sector.”
“We must now ensure we get the settings and implementation of the replacement programs right. Encouragingly, the government recognises that means working through the detail with Queensland’s many agricultural industries.”
“It also means government has to adopt a more proactive approach to investing in the sector, as the success of any drought framework or related challenge, such as the water-energy-climate nexus, are determined by the genuine ability of farm businesses to be prepared.”
“With droughts predicted to be more frequent and intense in the future, this review must be the start of an ongoing and regular discussion that enables effective drought policy outcomes.”