FARMERS and regional communities have been shunned by the Queensland Government’s Brisbane-centric budget, the Opposition claims.
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said the 2018-19 budget, released last week, showed that Labor didn’t care about Queensland farmers and the rural and regional communities they support.
“We have nothing to show for massive royalty hauls from the state’s resources sector because they are being tipped into the black hole of Labor’s debt,” Ms Frecklington said.
LNP Agriculture spokesman Tony Perrett said Labor’s budget had nothing new for agriculture.
“They only noteworthy addition for Queensland farmers is funding to increase regulation and red and green tape to suffocate our agricultural sector,” Mr Perrett said.
“This budget isn’t about supporting Queensland farmers. It’s about protecting Labor politicians in metropolitan seats in Southeast Queensland by making it harder for farmers to farm.
“Meanwhile, Labor has showered money on its greenie mates like the Australian Conservation Council but provided no funds to compensate farmers left reeling from their unfair vegetation management laws.
“It’s extremely disappointing to see Labor walk back on pervious investments and successes made in delivering pest management such as wild dog fencing by halving the ongoing funding.
“These projects are critically important to the agricultural industry’s viability and productivity and must be properly funded.”
LNP Natural Resources and Mines Dale Last spokesman said there was a gaping hole in Labor’s budget for water infrastructure and dams.
“Water is essential to the development of regional Queensland yet this Budget doesn’t allocate the required funding to upgrade and build the dams that will sustain and grow regional Queensland,” Mr Last said.
“While Labor has finally committed to matching the Federal Government’s $176 million for Rookwood Weir – they had to be dragged kicking and screaming to the table.
The LNP this week launched their economic plan for Queensland, with promises to deliver water security for regional areas.
“The LNP understands that dams can completely transform regions by boosting the economy and creating jobs for decades to come,” Mr Last said.
“The LNP’s investment in water is an investment in jobs.”
The LNP’s plan for water security includes, progressing the Nullinga Dam, Urannah Dam and raising the Burdekin Falls Dam, delivering the Rookwood Weir, and developing a long-term water strategy to safeguard supply and support jobs growth.
“Only a future Deb Frecklington LNP Government will invest in dams as a priority and ensure water remains accessible and affordable,” Mr Last said.
“Water is the lifeblood of agriculture. Our food and fibre exports are now worth $10 billion a year.
“The demand for food from China, India and other Asian economies is only going to increase.”