Nicholls the destroyer of rural jobs reveals lack of commitment to agriculture

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Elections Political Primary Industries Queensland Government


Acting Agriculture Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the LNP had betrayed the Bush when Tim Nicholls was Treasurer and producers would be wary of any promises from the man whose cuts bit deepest in rural and regional communities.

"Tim Nicholls slashed more than 600 jobs from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

"He sacked 26% of Biosecurity Queensland's workforce – despite an LNP election promise to employ more biosecurity officers  - and 28% of staff from Fisheries Queensland in a cull that left rural towns reeling.

"In Central Queensland he got rid of 25.6% of the DAF staff who provided advice, technical assistance and outreach services to primary producers. In Northern Queensland it was 33.79%. In Southern Queensland it was 20.45%

"Many rural communities had the stuffing kicked out of them as hard working public servants and their families were forced to leave, children were removed from schools and small businesses struggled as their customers fled or were no longer able to afford goods and services.

"The scale of the impact on the Bush was highlighted by one of their own.

"LNP Senator Barry O'Sullivan told a drought forum in Longreach in May 2015: 'My state government took 44 families out of this community. They were wrong to do it. It was a wrong decision'."

"DAF lost a third of its staff in Longreach under the LNP, and it wasn't alone.

"Rural debt soared as a direct result of Tim Nicholls' failure to understand the rural economy.

"Producers know that the Palaszczuk Government stopped the cuts, provided record support for farmers during the drought and introduced measures that has stimulated production, innovation and entrepreneurship in food and fibre production.

"The value of agricultural production in Queensland has soared almost 40% since we were elected in 2015 and our commitment to cluster fencing, committing more than $37 million in the last three years, is reviving the sheep and wool industry in the west.

"The Palaszczuk Government's vision is already transforming the industry and the communities the industry supports.

"In contrast the LNP is divided on cluster fences with Deputy Leader Deb Frecklington criticising Labor's investments in Parliament.

"Ms Frecklington showed her hand when she said: 'Labor seems to believe the wild dog menace will be solved by shiny new fences being erected in cluster models promoted by individuals and some local shires'.

"Our election commitments are calculated to boost the recovery, create jobs and realise the latent potential in the Bush."

Dr Lynham said the Palaszczuk Government had stabilised and strengthened the Department of Agriculture to better support producers and rural communities.

"Queensland's biosecurity capability was severely weakened by the Newman-Nicholls Government and we have committed more than $30 million to implement the recommendations of an independent biosecurity review to re-establish a world class capability.

"Tim Nicholls can have no credibility when it comes to biosecurity," he said.

Queensland Labor :
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