With drought conditions predicted to continue it is important to get the new drought program right.
With drought conditions predicted to continue it is important to get the new drought program right. Marian Faa

Drought review to secure future of Queensland farmers

THE Queensland Drought Program Review has been welcomed as an opportunity to help farmers better prepare for and manage through droughts.

The Queensland Farmers' Federation said they will continue to work with the state government to get the right policy settings for the agricultural sector.

The independent expert panel, consisting of former QFF CEO Ruth Wade and former AgForce CEO Charles Burke made 20 recommendations of which the Queensland Government accepted 13 outright and another six in principle.

QFF President Stuart Armitage said the panel had a wide-range consultation with the industry and regional communities.

"QFF has long held the view that the state's current drought framework is out of date. Various elements have not helped farmers to better prepare for or manage drought," he said.

They welcomed their considered recommendations and appealed to the Queensland Government to ensure it provided appropriate levels of ongoing support to implement the recommendations.

"Many of these recommendations reflect the sensible drought reform that QFF has been advocating for to assist farmers bolster their adaptation capabilities and build greater resilience into their businesses," Mr Armitage said.

"Drought reform is never easy for farmers or government, so this review is an important step towards realising a better prepared and more robust sector."

He said it was important for replacement programs to be right, by working through the detail with Queensland's many agricultural industries.

"It also means government has to adopt a more proactive approach to investing in the sector, as the success of any drought framework or related challenge, such as the water-energy-climate nexus, are determined by the genuine ability of farm businesses to be prepared," Mr Armitage said.

It is important to get this review right to ensure the future of Queensland farmers.

"With droughts predicted to be more frequent and intense in the future, this review must be the start of an ongoing and regular discussion that enables effective drought policy outcomes," he said.