The Queensland Government has urged Federal Agriculture Minister’ David Littleproud’s colleagues to bring him to heel before he damages Australia’s economic recovery from COVID-19.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said Mr Littleproud might need a time-out to recover his wits after he went off the rails on Wednesday.
“David Littleproud seems determined to disrupt interstate and national negotiations on agricultural worker mobility, preferring to spend all his time attacking Queensland’s support for the industry.
“While he makes ever-more-hysterical media appearances to lift his profile before challenging for the Federal Nationals leadership, the Palaszczuk Government is getting on with the job of supporting agriculture right across the state.
“Mr Littleproud seems more interested in attacking the Queensland Government than he is in supporting the economy.”
Since the pandemic began, the Queensland Government:
- Was the first state in Australia to declare agriculture an essential industry;
- Established a 70-strong Agriculture Working Group to help the industry navigate COVID-19 issues;
- Established a Market Diversification and Resilience Grants program;
- Deployed 100 Agriculture Co-ordination Officers across the state; and
- Worked with the Queensland Chief Health Officer to establish an efficient border process for agricultural businesses and workers.
Over the same period, Minister Littleproud:
- Ceased attending regular meetings of the nation’s agriculture ministers in the middle of the pandemic crisis;
- Pushed states to accept a last-minute national agriculture code that was rejected by medical experts; and
- Demonised the Queensland Government’s pandemic response while being silent on the border restrictions of LNP-governed states.
Mr Furner said Mr Littleproud needed to stop the political game-playing over Queensland’s tough border provisions and get back to doing his day job.
“It’s all very well for him to dream of leading the Federal National Party, but right now he should be walking the walk on a unified front to protect Queenslanders and Australians,” Mr Furner said.