Queensland Minister for Agricultural Industry Development Mark Furner has demanded an immediate apology from the LNP agriculture spokesman after he was caught telling deliberate lies about drought funding.
On Monday morning LNP Member for Gympie Tony Perrett issued a statement saying that drought funding had been cut by the Palaszczuk Government.
Mr Furner said there had been no cuts to drought funding, and Mr Perrett had now put himself in an untenable position.
“At a time when our farmers are surviving the worst drought in recent memory, the best the LNP can do is play politics instead of coming up with a drought strategy,” Mr Furner said.
“Tony Perrett needs to apologise to Queensland’s drought-stricken farmers and he needs to do it today.
“Mr Perrett said there had been funding cuts. He knows there has not been funding cuts. He lied.
“If Mr Perrett can’t bring himself to apologise then it is up to Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington to do it for him.”
The Palaszczuk Government’s 2019 State Budget included more than $74 million in drought support.
Just as the LNP did when in government, the State Government did not forecast major drought spending beyond the first year of the forward estimates because it is impossible to predict rainfall across the state that far ahead.
“It is hard to think of anything more despicable than attempting to exploit Queensland’s drought-stricken farmers for political gain,” Mr Furner said.
“No Queensland farmer has had a single cent of drought money cut by this Government.
“We made it clear when we released our drought review report that the current assistance would continue in areas that are drought declared for as long as this drought lasts.
“The LNP’s response is to launch a petition to fight so-called funding cuts that simply do not exist.
“To tell lies about drought assistance is a kick in the guts to every farmer out there battling these conditions.”
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries
The Honourable Mark Furner