Queensland Dairy Organisation president Brian Tessmann.
Queensland Dairy Organisation president Brian Tessmann. Michael Nolan

What our farmers want out of the state budget

WITH the Palaszczuk government releasing its budget today, there are a handful of key proposals farming advocates want funded.

Queensland Dairy Organisation president Brian Tessmann said the key item he wants addressed is energy affordability.

"The dairy industry is keen to be renewable and environmentally responsible but we need the energy supply to be viable and to access electricity at a reasonable price,” MrTessmann said.

While all farming is energy intensive, dairy is exposed to high costs of running refrigeration equipment, milking machines and irritation.

"The price of power is a huge strain on farmers,” MrTessmann said.

He would like to see either financial assistance to blunt tariff increases or assistance for farmers to find alternative sources of power, such as on-farm solar.

"Even a non-irrigator every quarter has an electricity bill of many thousands of dollars,” MrTessmann said.

More money for biosecurity would also be a plus, specifically to help manage ticks and Johne's disease, a stomach disease that larger beef producers have learned to live with but which can cause significant problems for dairy cattle.

Peanut Company of Australia chief executive officer John Howard wants more money in the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries coffers for research.

"The critical part for growers, like any business, is in improving productively and efficiency,” he said.

"There's a critical role the department has played in research into productivity and efficiency but that has been deceasing over a number of decades.”

Mr Howard would like to see that decline slowed and ideally reversed.

"The department is a key part of rural economies,” he said.

AgForce general president Grant Maudsley wants more cash for transport as it affects all rural industries.

"Demand for our high-quality food and fibre is growing but transport can make up 30-40% of the cost of production so we need more investment in road and rail infrastructure that makes it safer, easier and cheaper to get farm goods to market,” Mr Maudsley said.

He wants funds for local governments to work with industry to address "first and last mile issues” and to encourage planning works and route assessments to cut costs for producers.

Mr Maudsley wants to see money for mobile phone black spots and an extension of the intergenerational farm transfer duty exemption to include family trusts and companies.

South Burnett

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