Queensland Farmer’s Federation Celebration of Agriculture
Representing the Premier, the Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities, the Honourable Mark Furner MP; Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Minister for Emergency Management, Senator the Honourable Murray Watt; Leader of the Opposition, Shadow Minister for Tourism and Shadow Minister for the Olympics and Paralympics, Mr David Crisafulli MP; Members of Parliament; Queensland Government representatives; Director-Generals; Commissioners; Queensland Farmer’s Federation President, Mr Allan Dingle, Vice-President, Mr Aaron Kiely, CEO Ms Jo Sheppard, and Members of the Board; Chief Executive Officer, Energy Queensland, Mr Rod Duke and Partner, Holding Redlich, Ms Kylie Wilson; distinguished guests, good evening.
I begin by acknowledging the original custodians of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and extend respectful greetings to Elders, past, present and emerging.
Graeme and I are delighted to join you this evening for this celebration of Queensland Agriculture and the vital role it plays in the prosperity - past, present and future - of this great State.
Recent years have proven particularly difficult for those earning their income from the land. The destruction caused by the recent floods has been devastating and the ongoing drought is still affecting almost 45% of the State. Adding to that - as we are all too aware - have been the disappointments and challenges caused by the continuing pandemic, not least to supply chains and the agriculture workforce.
It is during such testing times that our regional producers require unified agricultural representation more than ever, and I would like to acknowledge the work the Queensland Farmer’s Federation does in providing a voice to our farming families and rural businesses.
It is a tremendous credit to the resilience of Queensland’s agriculture sector that despite the challenges presented in recent years, the industry has continued to evolve and thrive. And, with the support and advocacy of the Queensland Farmer’s Federation, has explored innovative new sources of revenue from beyond the land, in areas such as agritourism, agri-processing and carbon farming, to name a few.
This inventiveness and determination are hallmarks of ‘the Queensland way’, my admiration of which was only strengthened during Graeme and my recent official travel to Germany and the United Kingdom. It was extremely heartening to see how our State’s outstanding reputation for excellence is driving the formation of new partnerships with industry leaders overseas in diverse range of sectors that, alongside the ever-vital contribution of agriculture, will ensure a shining future for our State.
Like all Australians, we really do owe a debt of gratitude to our farming families, and the Ekka plays such a critical role in celebrating and championing the essential role agriculture plays in the everyday lives of Queenslanders. As our State’s leaders in agriculture, we thank you.