The LNP is demanding Labor Agriculture Minister Mark Furner stops squirming and pays up the $5 million he promised to fight the spread of prickly acacia in the flood-affected North-West.
Mr Furner publicly promised the cash in a media statement he jointly issued with the then Federal Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud on March 29 (media release attached).
LNP Shadow Agriculture Minister Tony Perrett called on Minister Furner – who met with Federal Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie on Wednesday in relation to the missing money – to publicly declare his hand on Queensland’s contribution.
“Canberra’s money is still on the table – despite the Palaszczuk Labor Government refusing to fund its agreed share,” Mr Perrett said.
“Mark Furner calls himself the farmers’ friend. But with friends like Furner, farmers don’t need enemies.
“He made a promise to help farmers fight this damaging weed and he has blatantly broken his word.
“Rural Queenslanders cannot trust a word the Palaszczuk Labor Government says.
“This is another Labor kick in the guts for farmers who are really struggling.
“The clock is ticking for Labor to act before this weed spreads out of control.
“The region is facing yet another environmental catastrophe unless action is taken now.”
The Agriculture Minister said there was ‘some confusion’ when he was quizzed about his commitment by Mr Perrett during the agriculture estimates hearing* – but refused to say if the $5m would be paid.
“The only person who is confused about this is Labor’s hapless Agriculture Minister,” Mr Perrett said.
“The Minister doesn’t make sense most of the time, but he surpassed himself in estimates.
“His attempt to dispute his own words was confusing and pathetic.
“I promise graziers and farmers that the LNP will keep fighting to ensure the Palaszczuk Labor Government sticks to its promises and fights the spread of prickly acacia.”
* See page 71: www.parliament.qld.gov.au/documents/hansard/2019/2019_07_24_EstimatesSDC.pdf