Queensland graziers in drought-affected areas are set to benefit from a $9 million boost in funding from the Coalition Government to help manage pest animals and weeds at the same time as Queensland's Labor Government continued to slash budgets.
Liberal National Party Shadow Agriculture Minister Tony Perrett joined Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud in Roma today to welcome the announcement of $7 million in federal funding to fight wild dogs and $2 million in weed-control funding.
"We've already seen the significant benefits wild dog fencing can bring to regional communities with the more than 4,500km of cluster fencing leading to a resurgence in the Queensland sheep industry," Mr Perrett said.
"Investing in cluster fencing works, and that's why it was such a slap in the face for farmers to see Labor slash funding for wild dog fencing by half in the latest Queensland budget.*
"This is yet another Palaszczuk Government cut to agriculture following their slashing of 40 frontline staff from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries since they came to government – including cuts to Biosecurity Queensland.
"These staff cuts hurt even more when you consider Labor's hiring spree of an extra 25,000 public service positions since 2015 - none of which appear to have been employed to help farmers."
Mr Perrett said today's funding from the Coalition Government would also help local graziers in Southern and Central Queensland fight insidious weeds such as Prickly Acacia and Parthenium.
"Especially at a time when Queensland continues to wait for this Government to deliver its long overdue Parliamentary Report into the impact of invasive weeds, let alone actually fund actions to prevent these costly biosecurity incursions," he said.
* The 2018-19 Qld budget - provided $2.5 million in grants ($5 million over two years) for the Queensland Feral Pest Initiative for wild dog exclusion cluster fencing in western and southern Queensland in drought affected communities. This is a halving of previous commitments of $10 million over 2016-17 ($5 million per year) http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2016/10/13/more-than-10-million-to-fight-wild-dogs-and-weeds-in-queensland