Queensland’s LNP Opposition has been caught out in a shameless and despicable stunt designed to exploit Queensland’s drought-stricken farmers.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the Opposition Leader has falsely claimed the State Government had cut drought assistance in the State Budget.
“Anybody who claims we have cut assistance to farmers in drought declared areas is either lying or has no understanding of how budgeting for drought assistance works,” Mr Furner said.
“After more than six years of drought – and $680m in Queensland Government commitments to drought-stricken communities - the LNP still has no drought policy and they choose to spend their time on deception rather than coming up with one.”
Mr Furner said the Government uses the exact same budgeting method used by the LNP for drought assistance when they were last in Government and does not represent any kind of cut to assistance.
“We have not cut one single solitary cent from drought assistance to drought-declared areas. Not one cent,” Mr Furner said.
“It makes sense to budget funding for assistance on an annual basis and based on the latest information and advice.
“Nobody can forecast how much it will rain four years ahead, so any figure put in the Budget that far ahead would be a guess at best.”
Mr Furner said it was disturbing that the Opposition Leader, a former Assistant Minister for Finance, had so little understanding of how budgeting for drought worked.
“This process has not changed – it is the same one used for the 2014 Budget when the Opposition Leader was a key player in Campbell Newman’s team,” Mr Furner said.
“It is not too late for the Opposition Leader to set this right by apologising to the drought-stricken farmers she has tried to exploit and to the voters she attempted to deceive.”
Mr Furner said the LNP’s criticism of drought assistance for farmers was a bit rich given the LNP still had no drought policy.
“While we stand shoulder to shoulder with farmers battling through the drought, the LNP is too lazy to even develop a drought policy,” Mr Furner said.
“Federal LNP Minister David Littleproud says they have one but keeps it secret, while the state LNP hasn’t started one at all.
“This shows clearly that the LNP is unfit to hold office. They are lazy, incompetent and unwilling to work for Queensland farmers.”
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries
The Honourable Mark Furner