Minister for Agriculture, Food and Regional Economies Tim Mulherin said Campbell Newman’s $4.6 million announcement today is an insulting drop in the ocean compared to the Bligh Government’s $110 million investment in research, development and extension.
“The Bligh Government established the Mackay Renewable Biocommodities Pilot Plant which is looking at incredible new uses for sugar such as turning it into biofuels, plastics and other products,” Mr Mulherin said.
“The Bligh Government is also driving international research and development in the biofuels sector, recently hosting a delegation from the US Navy at Mackay Biocommodities Plant.
“Campbell Newman announcement today has failed to back the Bligh Government’s $110 million investment in agribusiness research and development to continue to drive productivity and innovation within the sector,” Mr Mulherin said.
“The Bligh Government is committed to driving productivity and growth through research and development and have a proven track record of delivering $110 million in funding each year in this area,” he said.
Mr Mulherin said Campbell Newman’s announcement today does nothing to alleviate the fear raised by the LNP Shadow Agriculture Minister Andrew Cripps last September which cast serious doubt on future research and development funding under a Campbell Newman led government.
“Last year Shadow Agriculture Minister Andrew Cripps posed a direct threat to the Bligh Government’s significant $110 million investment in research and development by saying in a release that he seemed to think research and development is solely the responsibility of the Commonwealth Government,” Mr Mulherin said.
“Campbell Newman has also again today shown his shallow understanding of agriculture and confirms he is Brisbane centric and offers nothing to communities outside South East Queensland.
“He has again today repeated his mantra to double the state’s agricultural output within 30 years.
“The Bligh Government through our Fresh Approach strategy has already committed to tripling the state’s agricultural output to $34 billion by 2020.
“The LNP plan takes 20 years longer and achieves less – what an insult to industry.
“The downgrading of agricultural growth targets outlined by the LNP is a slap in the face to the Queensland agriculture sector.”
“What’s more, Mr Newman can’t or won’t say where the money is coming from. You can’t trust him to deliver this policy any more than you could trust him to deliver the more than $5.5 billion in unfunded election promises he’s made so far.”