Qld to scrap freight support for farmers

The Queensland government will axe transport subsidies for farmers, saying they must learn to be more resilient when drought strikes.

Agriculture Minister Mark Furner says an independent review of drought programs has shown there can be perverse outcomes from some forms of support.

He said two independent reviewers had pointed to problems with freight subsidies designed to help farmers with the cost of trucking in fodder, water and moving livestock.

And that was “potentially encouraging sub-optimal management practices on some droughted properties”.

The government says farmers who receive the subsidies will continue to get that help until their properties are no longer drought declared.

Support will be different if they are plunged back into drought at some time in the future.

“We have seen occasions, based on the view of the two independent reviewers of the policy … (that) poor management decisions are being made as a result of accessing the funding that is provided in this respect,” he said.

“Therefore, in accepting the fact that climate and drought is very real and present, better management practice will be around the sustainability of their businesses and their property, and their livestock they manage.

“Because too often it becomes a livestock issue about animal welfare matters that can lead to problems in association with their responsibilities as primary producers.”

AAP

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