AgForce will extend an invitation to Queensland Government Ministers to visit farms in regional Queensland to gain a better understanding of the importance of agriculture and how their decisions influence the lives and livelihoods of the state’s primary producers.
AgForce CEO Michael Guerin said agriculture was one of the foundations of the state’s economy, underpinning tens of thousands of jobs in regional Queensland, yet none of the Ministers with portfolios affecting agriculture came from outside Brisbane.
“A strong agricultural sector underpins a strong economy, and with global demand for our high-quality food and fibre on the rise, we need the right policy settings from governments to make the most of these opportunities,” he said.
“AgForce congratulates Member for Ferny Grove Mark Furner on his appointment as QLD Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and looks forward to working with him, but the big question mark is what clout he will have – or be allowed to have – at the Cabinet table.
“We will also be seeking to engage with QLD Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham, QLD Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch, QLD Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey, among others, as the decisions they make in their respective portfolios can also have big impacts on primary producers.”
Mr Guerin said AgForce members’ biggest concern was the plan to re-introduce flawed vegetation management laws rejected in the last Queensland Parliament, and the implications that had for sustainable agricultural development in the future.
“Queensland is now Australia’s most valuable agricultural state, yet the divisive vegetation management laws debate has left many Queensland primary producers feeling under attack and under-valued by their State Government,” he said.
“The fact that all the Ministers with portfolios affecting agriculture are from Brisbane will only further fuel the perception that the Government is more interested in West End than Western Queensland.
“That’s why AgForce is urging all the Brisbane-based Ministers to visit farms in regional Queensland as soon as possible so they can see first-hand the environmentally sustainable practices used to produce food and fibre for our state, our country and consumers across the world.
“Agriculture is the fastest growing industry in the country and one in seven Queenslanders are either partially or entirely supported by the food sector.
“With the right policies that allow agriculture to grow and prosper, Queensland will grow and prosper.”