Opinion

Reforms to Queensland's drought support a huge win

By Allan Dingle, Qff President
March 31 2022 - 8:00pm
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities, Mark Furner, recognised the work of QFF recently.

When you take on a president's role with an organisation like Queensland Farmer's Federation, you do so knowing full well the legacy that you represent.

QFF has a proud legacy of advocacy on behalf of the intensive agriculture sector and the 21 member organisations we represent.

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Advocacy is a tough game and when we have a win, it is worth celebrating.

The announcement of significant reforms to Queensland's drought support last week was a huge win.

It was pleasing to see the work of QFF - over many years - recognised by Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities, Mark Furner.

Why is this significant for our members?

For the first time, the new drought programs will be made available for a broader range of eligible Queensland primary producers instead of just grazing sectors.

This is a major step forward that QFF advocated for.

Drought has impacted the length and breadth of the agriculture sector - including cane, cotton and horticulture.

All sectors are grappling with drought and the costs associated with being more sustainable in the face of this formidable foe.

QFF supports sustainable production and working with primary producers to manage drought and their own risk is part of that.

Drought assistance programs that focus on building sector capacity and focus on preparedness activities to help producers better manage the drought cycle, rather than waiting for a crisis, is a very sensible step.

And it was pleasing to see it is backed with some real dollars.

The support available to eligible producers includes Drought Preparedness Grants up to $50,000 and a suite of new drought preparedness, assistance and recovery loans up to $250,000.

That is valuable support that will assist the whole agriculture sector move toward sustainability and tackle the ongoing challenges of drought.

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