Prior to, and throughout, the Queensland state election campaign, the Queensland Farmers’ Federation has articulated to all sides of politics and prospective candidates what matters to agriculture and what Queensland farmers expect from the next Parliament. Agriculture has enormous potential to build upon its already impressive record in Queensland, and it is primed for a government willing to seize the opportunities. However, the sector’s vision for agriculture can only be achieved by addressing the challenges and taking advantage of the opportunities presented, which requires strategic policy from political parties.
Until recently, we were concerned that farmers were being forgotten or ignored with agricultural policy announcements few and far between during the early stages of the campaign. However, the sector has been the subject of several commitments from political parties addressing high input costs and new and much needed infrastructure in the last week. While these announcements are welcome, for some of the announcements we have been left with more questions than answers after political parties failed to consult with the sector on their agricultural policies. Some of the policy announcements take piecemeal approaches and have unintended consequences that could have been identified and rectified with industry consultation.
Queensland farmers need a government that will guarantee competitive production costs, create and foster an environment that promotes productivity and resilience, and ensure the building blocks and infrastructure that underpin the sector are in place and maintained. Because investment in food security, environmental sustainability and economic opportunity is not only low risk but it is critical to the agricultural sector.
In the next Parliament, we welcome the opportunity to work alongside government to achieve our vision for agriculture and strengthen this critical economy support structure. In the meantime, as all Queenslanders have an interest in the food, fibre and foliage the agriculture sector producers, QFF encourages voters to look at the policy commitments put forward by all parties and critically think about what will make a positive difference for our sector. Remember, a thriving and vibrant agriculture sector is not just good for farmers and our regions – it is good for everyone.