Drought preparedness, research and pest control in $608 million ag budget

Published Tuesday, 21 June, 2022 at 03:40 PM

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities
The Honourable Mark Furner

The Palaszczuk Government has delivered a $608 million investment in Queensland’s agriculture, fisheries and forestry industries to maintain the sector’s place as a major employer and world leader.

Drought support and preparedness, research and extension services, tackling major pests and developing the aquaculture industry all feature prominently in a budget designed to enhance our already-surging agricultural sector.

The government is investing up to $79.6 million over four years from 2022-23 to continue to deliver drought assistance programs and reforms to support industry to respond to natural disasters.

Another $150 million over three years from 2022-23 will be set aside for drought preparedness and emergency drought assistance loans.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said ongoing natural disasters had taken a significant toll on our producers and it was vital that the government maintain a high level of support.

“Our primary producers need to know we have their backs when things are tough, and that is exactly what the Palaszczuk Government delivers,” Mr Furner said.

“Our support and backing for the sector shows exactly what can be achieved when we work side by side with industry to solve problems.

“That is why a budget that backs collaborative reforms on drought support and resilience is so important.

“This is about supporting our farmers and the more than 300,000 agricultural jobs in Queensland, and working to create more good, secure jobs in our traditional and emerging industries.”

Through the budget, the Palaszczuk Government will manage over $140 million in 2022-23 to drive the productivity and innovation in Queensland's livestock, aquaculture, cropping, horticulture, forestry, timber and food processing industries through world-class research, development and extension.

“This budget is a bold declaration of the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to the science that is backing our farmers’ success,” Mr Furner said.

“We trusted the science during COVID and the result was thousands of lives saved. Our investment in agricultural science and extension will help Queensland farmers to lead the nation and the world.”

Mr Furner said the budget also included a $37.1 million investment over five years from 2021-22 to open a vital new front in the war on Red Imported Fire Ants.

“Queensland continues to support the approach of the National Fire Ant Eradication Program supported by all states and the federal government to eradicate this pest by working from the western boundary of the infested areas and towards the east,” Mr Furner said.

“Our joint Fire Ant Suppression Taskforce will attack fire ants in the heart of the infested area where the highest concentrations of ants are.

“This will open up a new front in our fight against the ants and hopefully will mean there are fewer nests to eradicate when the overall eradication plan reaches those areas.

“This is another important investment to protect and enhance our Queensland lifestyle.”

“We are also allocating $1 million in 2022-23 to deliver Round 7 of the Queensland Feral Pest Initiative,” he said.

“This will support the management of invasive plants and animals in our state.”

Mr Furner acknowledged the impact worker shortages are having on agricultural industries and welcomed the budget investment in providing solutions.

“There is up to $2.6 million in 2022-23 for the implementation of the Australian Government's Pacific Australia Labour Mobility Scheme to help fill agricultural employment gaps in regional areas unable to be met by the Australian workforce,” he said.

Other highlights of the 2022-23 Agriculture budget include:

  • Establishing a network of smart farms in Queensland to deliver agtech solutions
  • An agtech roadmap to drive digital and technological transformation of Queensland's agriculture sector
  • Reducing the impact of biosecurity threats through prevention, preparedness, and response and recovery measures
  • Finalising the recommendations of the Inquiry into animal cruelty in the management of retired Thoroughbred and Standardbred horses in Queensland
  • Helping the Australian Banana Growers’ Council develop appropriate strategies for industry management of Panama disease Tropical Race 4 (Panama TR4)
  • Expanding our capacity to prevent biosecurity incursions across Queensland’s northern border
  • Continuing the Queensland Sustainable Fisheries Strategy 2017-2027 to support fisheries reform and deliver on a number of commitments under the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan
  • Continue regulatory reforms to major Queensland fisheries to sustain fish stocks
  • Finalising a directions paper on the future of native timber harvesting in Queensland
  • Continuing upgrades to infrastructure, including community halls through the Queensland Country Women's Association as part of our capital works grants program, with $1 million over two years from 2022-23

For more information about the State Budget visit budget.qld.gov.au.


Media contact: Ron Goodman 0427 781 920