Farmers afraid to speak out after Minister sacks LDC

by Ted Sorensen
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Local Drought Committees (LDCs) across Queensland will be too scared to speak up for farmers after the shock sacking of the Western Downs LDC by Agriculture Minister Mark Furner, the LNP warned today.

Mr Furner decided to shoot the messenger by axing the Western Downs LDC after its members – one of whom had served on the committee for 35 years – voted unanimously for the area to be drought-declared.

The Minister ignored their recommendation and has allowed only part of the Western Downs to be officially drought-declared (Link to Queensland Country Life story below).

Liberal National Party Shadow Minister for Agriculture Tony Perrett called the LDC’s sacking a disgrace and an insult to the farming community.

“Let’s be very clear, the Minister sacked the LDC all because it didn’t deliver the verdict he wanted,” said Mr Perrett.

“The Minister was embarrassed and angry he didn’t get what he wanted – so he threw an outrageous tantrum and fired everyone involved.

“Chinchilla grain farmer Greg Stanke had served on the LDC for 35 years. He has been treated disgracefully. The Minister should hang his head in shame.

“If Labor can do this to Western Downs, it can do it to any other region.

“By intimidating LDCs, Labor plans to make it harder for communities to get on the drought-affected list. This means farmers and communities will be starved of assistance.

“The LNP continues to call for a complete state-wide audit of our regional drought declarations.

“It’s time for Minister Furner to direct all our LDCs to meet again and provide frank and fearless advice on the deteriorating seasonal conditions affecting our communities.”

‘Western Downs Drought Committee sacked’, Queensland Country Life: https://www.queenslandcountrylife.com.au/story/5666999/furner-sacks-drought-committee/?cs=4785

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