Federal Government must back world-leading drought science

The Queensland Government has urged Prime Minister Scott Morrison to get serious about helping farmers adapt to drought by backing world-leading science.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said investment in science was vital to helping primary producers survive and thrive as the challenge of dealing with a changing climate grows.

“The Palaszczuk Government has committed more than $21m to Queensland’s ground-breaking Drought and Climate Adaptation Program bringing together the best climate scientists and cutting-edge researchers,” Mr Furner said.

“This is investing in research so that our farmers can take on the world, leading to real practical improvements that will help farmers to be both sustainable and profitable.

“If the Federal Government is serious about a long-term response it needs to back our investment in future-proofing our regions from drought.

“I’m calling on the Federal Government to back our research efforts with matching funding so we can double down on the science and get better, faster outcomes for our farmers.”

Mr Furner also called for the Federal Government to invest in fixing black spots in climate and weather data in Queensland by providing additional funding to the Bureau of Meteorology.

“I was up in the Gulf last week and we know there are weather blackspots across Northern Australia that need to be fixed now,” Mr Furner said.

“We can’t make it rain, but we can make sure we have the best quality data so farmers can manage their properties well and researchers are working with the best possible information,” Mr Furner said.

“You can’t manage drought conditions properly if you don’t have the right data.

“Every producer appreciates the BOM and we need the Federal Government to step up and make sure the BOMgoodmar on the ground is getting the data our agricultural industry needs.”

Mr Furner said the Federal Government should stop the politics around drought and support solutions for farmers doing it tough.

“We have seen this silly game with the Federal Government saying its drought envoy Barnaby Joyce had produced no reports but Mr Joyce saying he had sent plenty of reports directly to the Prime Minister,” Mr Furner said.

“This is too serious and too important for that kind of rubbish. They need to be open with the Australian people and with the very farmers these reports are supposed to help.

“I really hope the Prime Minister has a change of heart on this and releases Mr Joyce’s reports about the drought.”

/Public Release. View in full here.