AGFORCE president Grant Maudsley says farmers are keen to engage with whoever became the new Member for Rockhampton.
"Whoever is the next Member for Rockhampton from whichever political party needs to ensure they are the beef capital's voice in Brisbane, not just Brisbane's voice in the beef capital," Mr Maudsley said.
His comments follow the resignation of Bill Byrne for health reasons. Mr Byrne was also Queensland’s agriculture minister.
Possible candidates in the safe Labor seat include Rockhampton Mayor Margaret Strelow and Biloela based Queensland Teachers' Union organiser Dan Coxen. The LNP has already announced media adviser Douglas Rodgers as its candidate.
Whoever is the next Member for Rockhampton needs to ensure they are the beef capital's voice in Brisbane, not just Brisbane's voice in the beef capital.
Mr Maudsley said he had established a good working relationship with Mr Byrne during his two stints as the state's Agriculture Minister.
"A strong agricultural sector underpins a strong Queensland economy, so it's vital the minister is a strong advocate for agriculture both in the community and in the cabinet room," he said.
"While we have had our disagreements with the Palaszczuk Government, most notably over vegetation management laws, Mr Byrne has always been willing to listen to and discuss farmers' concerns, including at an AgForce forum in Rockhampton just last month.
"AgForce also acknowledges Mr Byrne's efforts in rolling out wild dog exclusion fencing and helping to secure stamp duty exemptions for farmers passing down the family farm to the next generation.
"We wish Mr Byrne all the best in his life after politics."
Mr Maudsley said AgForce had worked with Anthony Lynham on issues in his current portfolio of Natural Resources and Mines, and would look to meet with him as soon as possible to discuss issues, such as drought and biosecurity, in his new portfolio of agriculture and fisheries.
"Global demand for our high quality food and fibre is growing rapidly, and can continue to grow strongly,” Mr Maudsley said. “But we need the right policy settings from governments."