AgForce voices state budget upset
THE state budget was released only three days ago, but concerns have already been raised about the future of agriculture in Queensland.
AgForce CEO Michael Guerin said the headline program in the Agriculture and Fisheries portfolio was about shark netting program, which should make Queensland's farmers and rural and regional communities who depend on them feel "very afraid".
"It's clear the government doesn't understand agriculture or appreciate its vital importance to the economic, employment and social fabric of rural, regional and remote Australia," Mr Guerin said.
Additional funding for ongoing drought management, Great Artesian Basin capping and piping projects, and improved fire management on state land would be welcomed at AgForce, yet Mr Guerin voiced his concerns that there wasn't a comprehensive strategy behind the spending.
He said the agricultural industry contributed nearly $14 billion to the Queensland economy every year, yet the government continued to demonstrate that it had no vision for its ongoing growth and sustainability.
"The best way to support regional Queensland is by developing a visionary road map of the agribusiness and food production sectors that contribute so much to these communities," Mr Guerin said.
"A concrete plan like that would support employment growth and encourage private sector investment."
Primary industries and regional communities are set to receive $7 million over two years to transition Queensland Agricultural Colleges to a more modern training model after they are shut down at the end of the year.