The farming futures of Queensland students are under threat as Labor continues to run agriculture education into the ground, LNP Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington warned today.
“It’s an absolute disgrace that Labor has shut ag colleges and pulled funding from key ag education programs across the state,” Ms Frecklington said.
“It’s shameful that Annastacia Palaszczuk pulled $181,000 from the School to Industry Partnership Program (SIPP) and then splurged more than $100,000 on ‘brand research’ at TAFE Queensland.
“SIPP is a hands-on education program that showcases where food comes from and highlights agricultural job opportunities to school students.
“This successful program has been running for 15 years and is vital for farmers and Queensland kids.
“Instead of funding ag education, Labor has directed TAFE to splurge millions on Commonwealth Games tickets, hospitality expenses, international travel and golden handshakes.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk is out of touch and continues to make short-sighted decisions which puts the future of the industry at risk.
“It’s clear Labor couldn’t care less when it comes to helping young Queenslanders make a start in their ag careers.”
LNP Shadow Agriculture Minister Tony Perrett said other states had been expanding their ag education programs while Labor continues to make cuts in Queensland.
“Queensland’s ag industry won’t survive if it keeps getting kicked in the guts by Labor,” Mr Perrett said.
“NSW has implemented compulsory ag classes in high school and Tasmania has invested an additional $16 million into their school farms initiative.
“The SIPP cut supports Labor’s anti-farmer agenda and follows the introduction of the devastating vegetation management laws, cuts to biosecurity staff and the failure to deliver a proper cattle tick line review.
“Queensland is one of the biggest contributors to Australia’s prosperous ag industry but our future under threat with a Labor Government.
“Labor needs to sort out their priorities and restore funding to SIPP and other ag education programs.”