19 May, 2021
QFF Responds to Federal Budget
Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) has acknowledged spending in the agriculture portfolio but noted the government’s lack of strategic vision to enhance the sector in the 2020-21 Federal Budget.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and the Coalition government have committed to investing $197 million over the next four years to begin implementing the 20-year National Soil Strategy and to expand the biodiversity stewardship pilot, which gives farmers another income stream through improving on-farm biodiversity.
Over ten years, $15.2 billion has been assigned to infrastructure, roads and rail projects, of which Queensland is being provided with $1.6 billion, half of which will not be delivered within the four years of the forward estimates.
If the money was distributed in proportion to population, Queensland would receive approximately $3.067 billion.
QFF CEO Dr Georgina Davis said while the federal government had delivered welcome and much needed funding for biosecurity, trade, drought management and biodiversity, the targeted investment required to help drive the agriculture sector forward was conspicuous by its absence and quantum.
“QFF welcomes the federal government’s support to expand agricultural export markets, strengthen the country’s biosecurity response to protect agricultural and regional communities, and extend the instant asset write-off for eligible machinery and equipment,” Dr Davis said.
However, Dr Davis said that some of the critical and important bigger picture issues the agriculture sector was facing had been ignored.
“Limited funding for climate change mitigation comes as consumer, shareholder and regulatory pressure is growing for the sector.
The Federal Government also invested $4.2 million in the National Agricultural Innovation Agenda.