Labor's fire ant program over budget and overdue

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Labor's Agriculture Minister Mark Furner is overseeing a department of budget and timeframes blowouts that is failing to support farmers and the agriculture industry.

The departments IT program, designed to help national fire ant eradication, and engage with stakeholders is now more than three months overdue due to 'resourcing issues'*.

The initial budget for the fire ant project was $694,000, although this has now blown out to $1 million with not set end date in sight.

Liberal National Party Shadow Minister for Agriculture Tony Perrett said that it is clear all is not right in the Department of Agriculture.

"We have seen project blowouts, year-long delays as well as 123% surge in customer complaints in the department since 2015**," Mr Perrett said.

"Fire ant eradication is a serious issue for our landholders and communities, one which should be properly funded and resourced.

"Unfortunately, Labor's Minister is too weak and ineffective to secure the staff and resources it requires to fulfil its obligations to Queenslanders.

"It is also very clear that Queensland farmers are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the quality of service they are receiving from the Department of Agriculture.

"Annastacia Palaszczuk has cut 40 frontline staff from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries since it came to government – including cuts to Biosecurity Queensland staff in the last budget.

"The Palaszczuk Labor Government's anti-farmer agenda is hurting regional Queensland.

"Whether it be Labor's unfair vegetation laws, anti-dam agenda or underfunding and mismanagement of our all-important DAF and Biosecurity departments, no area is safe.

"Only a Deb Frecklington LNP Government will support our farmers and bridge the divide between South East Queensland and the regions."

* https://www.qld.gov.au/digitalprojectsdashboard/projects?Agency=DAF
** https://www.queenslandcountrylife.com.au/story/5755178/fire-ant-it-system-over-budget-and-overdue/?cs=4785

 
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07 3844 0666
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LNP :  Liberal National Party
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