In a slap in the face for Queensland farmers, the Palaszczuk Labor Government has cut 40 frontline staff from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries since it came to government – including cuts to Biosecurity Queensland.
In Bundaberg today, Liberal National Party Shadow Agriculture Minister Tony Perrett slammed the cuts to Queensland’s vitally important biosecurity team as proof that Labor is happy to take credit for the achievements of the rural sector, while at the same time pulling support from farmers.
“Labor’s 2018 Budget papers reveal the real state of the Department of Agriculture & Fisheries – which includes Biosecurity Queensland,” said Mr Perrett.
“There are now 40 fewer staff in the Department compared to when the LNP was in Government.
“The real travesty of these staff cuts is when you take into account the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s hiring spree of more than 25,000 public servants since 2015, none of which appear to have been employed to help farmers.
“It begs the question what have all these extra positions done to support agriculture, our farmers or rural and regional communities?
“This Brisbane-centric Labor Government has showered Southeast Queensland with public sector jobs while the rest of the state misses out.”
Mr Perrett questioned how the Palaszczuk Government was supposed to protect Queensland agriculture from serious pests and diseases such as as Panama Tropical Race 4, White spot, Cucumber Green Mottle Mosaic virus and tomato potato psyllid if they cut staff.
“With all the bluster from Minister Furner spruiking the ‘record’ investment into agriculture and biosecurity, it’s time we face the facts,” he said.
“The only windfall from this budget will be those bureaucrats that will manage Labor’s extra red and green tape such as the vegetation management laws suffocating our agricultural sector.
“Only the Liberal National Party understands Queensland farmers and the rural and regional communities they support.”