AgMAC under attack

Queensland agricultural committee update

Agriculture Minister Mark Furner.

Agriculture Minister Mark Furner.


A committee established to give farming groups direct access to Queensland's agriculture minister has met three times since it was formed in 2018.


A COMMITTEE established to give farming groups direct access to Queensland's agriculture minister has met three times since it was formed in 2018.

The Agriculture Ministerial Advisory Committee (AgMAC) held its inaugural meeting on June 10, 2018 and has met on two other occasions since.

Nicklin MP Martin Hunt queried the status of the committee in a Question on Notice to Agricultural Minister Mark Furner in parliament last year.

He asked how many times the committee had met and to list 'actionable' outcomes from the meeting.

In his response Mr Furner said the committee had met again on September 25, 2018 and on May 27 last year.

He said senior representatives from the two AgMAC member organisations, Queensland Farmers' Federation and AgForce, attended all meetings, alongside senior executives from other Queensland government agencies.

Acting Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Stirling Hinchliffe further clarified the role of the committee.

"AgMAC was established in 2018 to provide strategic advice to the Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries on issues affecting Queensland's agricultural sector," Mr Hinchliffe said.

He said AgMAC meetings had enabled a direct line of communication between member organisations and the minister, which has facilitated open and constructive dialogue between industry and Government.

"As discussions held during AgMAC meetings are confidential, formal minutes of meetings are not recorded and actionable priorities are progressed at Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) officer level.

"Issues covered have included the protection of agricultural land, biosecurity management, drought policy and the Growing for Queensland strategy engagement process."

Mr Hinchliffe said DAF was working with AgMAC member organisations to schedule meetings for 2020.

Former Queensland Farmers' Federation president Stuart Armitage, who was central in lobbying for the group to be formed ahead of the 2017 election, said the concept behind the committee was important.

He said it had achieved its aim in providing a direct link for farming groups to the Agriculture Minister, but said a more rigid schedule may assist the committee in achieving tangible goals.

However, LNP agriculture spokesman Tony Perrett said he believed the committee had been neglected by the Labor government.

"Queensland's Agricultural Ministerial Advisory Council which was lobbied for by industry and promised by Labor before the 2017 election, has only met three times, and only once in 2019," Mr Perrett said.

"AgMAC was designed to address critical competitiveness and productivity issues, as well as identifying growth opportunities within the agriculture and food sectors and it's appalling that its been purposefully put out to pasture."


From the front page

Sponsored by