The Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) and industry members are underwhelmed by the 2020-21 State Budget noting there were no surprises, either positive or negative.
QFF CEO Dr Georgina Davis said that while the Queensland Government had delivered on its election commitments, this year’s Budget was again a missed opportunity to address some critical competitiveness and productivity issues, and exciting growth opportunities for the sector, which would benefit all Queenslanders.
“Credit to the government for fully delivering on its election commitments, including reducing irrigation water charges for the state’s farmers, electricity bill relief for small businesses, funding for agricultural skills and training facilities, and support for the Reef Credits initiative,” Dr Davis said.
“The government should also be commended for listening to QFF and providing price relief for critical input costs, funding for resilience and risk reduction, dam safety improvement projects and biosecurity.”
“However, more information is needed to address the uncertainties around implementing some of these significant initiatives. While some obvious and overdue funding measures were missing in the budget such as abolishing stamp duty on agricultural insurance, capital investment for strategic water infrastructure projects and support for agritourism.”
Dr Davis said the government needed to demonstrate a more strategic intent towards agriculture and long term, targeted stimulus-type investment if the sector was to take the next step change forward.
“Our sector is the only one that can deliver food security, environmental sustainability and economic opportunity for relatively low risk,” Dr Davis said.
“Without more targeted and deliberate action from government, agriculture will not fully capitalise on the exciting opportunities that are unquestionably available.”
“With Budget Estimates scheduled to run from 7 to 15 December, the sector looks forward to learning further details about the government’s funding support for agriculture.”