Farmers' patience is drying up
FEDERAL Drought Minister David Littleproud has called on the Queensland Government to immediately release the findings of its Drought Program Review, now more than five months overdue.
Throughout September and October 2018, the independent panel held regional forums and sought written submissions which were handed to State Agriculture Minister Mark Furner on January 31.
The report has not been released.
With future drought preparation in limbo, Mr Littleproud said farmers needed action now.
"The Queensland Government has been sitting on this report while farmers struggle with drought,” he said.
"Taxpayers paid for this report and they have a right to see what it says.
"Mark Furner and Annastacia Palaszczuk should release the full report immediately.”
The review sought to improve resilience and assistance for farmers and Mr Littleproud said he wants answers now.
"Does the report say Annastacia Palaszczuk should stop charging farmers so much for electricity through her state-owned electricity company?” he said.
"The Queensland Government has done nothing since I asked them to give farmers cheaper electricity by offering a discount food and fibre rate through the State Government-owned electricity company.
"They also failed to write back when I asked if it could consider paying council rates on behalf of farmers, or forgiving their lease payments to the state.
"Does the report recommend the state pay council rates or forgive lease payments?”
Mr Furner failed to give a time frame for when the report would be made public.
"The release of the drought review is imminent,” he said.
"Since this drought began, more than $670million has been invested to support drought-affected communities and industries and we will continue to support them.”