KAP secures $3 billion fund access for agriculture, resources
STATE Treasurer Cameron Dick has revealed Queensland’s agriculture and resource sectors will be eligible for the government’s $3 billion stimulus package, following pressure from Katter’s Australian Party.
Attending this morning’s Economics and Governance Committee’s inquiry into the government’s COVID-19 Fiscal and Economic Review, Hinchinbrook MP Dametto asked the Treasurer whether the agricultural and resource sectors would be eligible for support through $3 billion previously announced to stimulate Queensland’s economic recovery from COVID-19.
“Because we have such a large and diverse state, the response of the government must be tailored for the incredibly different communities that make up the tapestry of Queensland,” Mr Dick said.
“Unlike economies in New South Wales and Victoria, which are highly dependent on service industries, we of course have two of the great mainstays of the Queensland economy – agriculture and mining. They have done much of the heavy lifting…So yes, we will look to support that.”
Mr Dick said the government would be looking to “facilitate” investments in hard infrastructure, economic-enabling infrastructure, water infrastructure, road infrastructure, ports, digital and direct investments in agriculture.
“That’s very much on our radar and we’ll continue to support our mighty agricultural industries who have done so much,” he said.
“There will be a combination of investments we will make, not just in supporting agriculture but supporting those parts of the economy that facilitate and assist agricultural producers.
“And of course there’s a number of businesses who have been eligible for relief measures. Combined with Townsville and the Far North, as of September 4, job support loans have totalled around $108 million and about 8500 applicants for those.”
Mr Dametto welcomed Mr Dick’s response, labelling it a “win for the mining and agricultural sectors”.
“The Treasurer’s confirmation that agriculture and mining will be supported by the government during this economically difficult time will be of comfort to thousands of people employed directly and indirectly by these industries in the state,” Mr Dametto said.
“Those industries are doing the heavy lifting in keeping Queensland’s economy afloat and it’s good to see that acknowledgement is backed up with some real investment.”
The KAP is pushing for a 25 per cent reduction in irrigation water prices to secure a $220 million boost for regional Queensland economies over the next four years.
That boost would bolster the $4 billion annual economic contribution of the sugar industry, which supports 23,000 jobs.