Queensland farmers know bulldust when they hear it

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries The Honourable Mark Furner

Queensland Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington has used an address to the Rural Press Club to mislead Queensland farmers about drought assistance.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the LNP leader has breached trust with the state’s farming community by claiming the Queensland Government was cutting funding for drought subsidies.

“You can work with a farmer, joke with a farmer and even cry with a farmer, but the one thing you can’t do is lie to a farmer,” Mr Furner said.

“They just deserve better from someone who wants to be Premier of Queensland.

“The Queensland Government has never had a closer relationship with farmers than it has through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The spirit of working together for the benefit of the whole state has been palpable, and to see the Opposition resort to cheap rhetoric and mistruths would be disappointing to the agriculture sector as a whole.”

Ms Frecklington, addressing the Rural Press Club earlier today, said “Labor plans a $50 million cut to fodder (and) freight subsidies if it wins the next election”.

“Deb Frecklington knows that this just isn’t true,” Mr Furner said.

“Drought funding is budgeted on an annual basis because weather and climate conditions can change.

“The previous LNP budgeted for drought support in exactly the same way, so it seems unlikely that Campbell Newman’s former Assistant Treasurer has forgotten how it works.

“We have even extended the time farmers have to apply for the subsidies.”

Mr Furner said an independent review of drought support recommended changes to drought support, but these changes had been delayed to 2021 because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We made it clear from day one that not one cent of funding support would be withdrawn as long as the current drought continues,” Mr Furner said.

“That means a drought-declared farmer getting fodder and freight subsidies now will continue to get those subsidies for as long as the current drought lasts.”

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