The Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) has acknowledged the increased spending in the agriculture portfolio in the 2020-21 Federal Budget and urged the next Queensland Parliament to capitalise on the new funding opportunities that are ripe for the picking.
QFF CEO Dr Georgina Davis said without targeted and deliberate action following this month’s state election, the Queensland agriculture sector could miss out on its fair share of stimulus funding needed to address some critical competitiveness and productivity issues, and progress growth initiatives.
“QFF welcomes the federal government’s support to expand agricultural export markets, the extension of the instant asset write-off for machinery and other equipment valued up to $150,000 and relocation rebates to address the sector’s forecast labour shortage,” Dr Davis said.
“With nearly 70 per cent of Queensland drought declared, the federal government should also be commended for maintaining funding for drought relief and disaster recovery arrangements.”
“However, with the dissolution of the Queensland Parliament ahead of the state election, QFF is seeking a commitment from all political parties that they will immediately utilise the available federal government funding and invest in the future of the state’s agriculture sector.”
“The next Queensland Parliament must fast-track smart irrigation water infrastructure and efficiency projects through the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund, and match the federal government’s funding through the On-farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme which provides up to $25,000 for farmers to clean dams and drill bores.”
“Additionally, the state Parliament must also recognise the role of agritourism, which could add $5 billion to the Queensland economy by 2030, by building on the federally funded Regional Tourism Recovery Package and partnering with QFF to deliver our Growing Queensland’s Agritourism Sector initiative.”
“All levels of government must demonstrate strategic intent and deliver joined up investment, without which the Queensland agriculture sector will be unable to fully capitalise on the exciting opportunities that are unquestionably there.”