Barnaby Joyce’s failed, discredited and now forgotten Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper has taken another hit this week.
The Paper’s funding for farm insurance advice and risk assessment is now a sad joke.
It takes a special talent to spend $40,000 on newspaper ads to give $9,000 away.
The Agriculture White Paper provided $29.9 million over four years, but so far only $9,000 in rebates has been paid.
Under the program farmers were able to access grants to help evaluate insurance options and to obtain risk management advice.
However, farmers were required to fork out their own money for the assessment and then were able to seek the rebate but with no assurance that they would be successful in obtaining a grant.
The Minister’s answers to questions on notice revealed that more money has been spent on advertising than helping farmers with rebates. In April 2016 digital and print media ads cost $22,944.56 and in February the Government spent another $16,263.63, that’s four times more than what was paid to farmers.
This in another example of poor policy development and program design under Barnaby Joyce’s watch.
Barnaby Joyce must stop claiming he has delivered a $4 billion Agriculture Competitiveness White paper when we continually see that allocated funding is not spent or redirected to other programs.