QFF appreciates having a seat at the Agricultural Ministerial Advisory Council (AgMac) which provides the opportunity for QFF's CEO and me to represent our members and advocate for the things that matter to Queensland farmers.
AgMac is hosted by the Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and attended by senior government representatives from the many departments that are directly related to agriculture.
The QFF CEO and I were pleased to participate in the forum earlier this week where biosecurity, workforce shortages, feral pig control and regional wellbeing and mental health were top of the agenda.
Further detail on the Queensland government announcements of increased investment in biosecurity was provided at the meeting. The $20 million package will include 10 new biosecurity officers to be located throughout regional Queensland, comprehensive mapping of the supply chain to assist in preparedness and a boost to feral pig control measures.
This announcement has been welcomed by industry and QFF will continue to work closely with government to support the rollout of these new initiatives to help ensure the best possible outcomes on the ground.
Building our capacity in disease protection and specialised emergency response is critical to safeguard our agricultural sector, regional communities and economies for the future. This week Federal Minister for Agriculture Murray Watt announced the release of a National Biosecurity Strategy which has also been welcomed by industry.
With multiple threats currently of concern, biosecurity has been front of mind in recent months, but the reality is that strong biosecurity is fundamental to the future of agriculture and must be a top priority at all times.
We must remain vigilant and work together to continue to strengthen our biosecurity capability and systems at a national, state and regional level. Border control and prevention is critical but our preparedness and ability to respond quickly in a coordinated manner at home at a national level all the way down to on farm is equally important.
Achieving strong biosecurity is complex and we all play an important role. QFF will continue to work with the Queensland government to support farmers to develop their own biosecurity measures and to ensure adequate investment continues not just in times of heightened threats, but over the long term.
With workforce shortages continuing to bite on farm, rising input costs and ongoing supply chain disruptions, there are a lot of balls in the air for QFF members and farmers across Queensland. It is critical that all levels of government work closely with industry to tackle these challenges to ensure a favorable operating environment for future farming in this state.
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