Revelations that Scott Morrison is paying Shane Stone, his captain's pick for the head of the North Queensland Livestock Industry Recovery Agency, more than $500,000 per year will be a shock to many flood and drought affected farmers.
Our farmers want real assistance, not politically created agencies that only delay help. This $500,000 would be much better spent helping farmers get back on their feet than being put in the pockets of LNP mates.
The fact is agencies such as Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) are delivering assistance to farmers affected by floods and drought. In Queensland, the Palaszczuk Government has got on with the job of actually getting money out to our farmers.
Scott Morrison’s North Queensland Livestock Recovery Agency adds another layer of time-eating bureaucracy when farmers just need action.
As Shane Stone himself said:
“The Commonwealth provides the money, but QRIDA has the expertise to give the funds and assess the implications.”
QRIDA was the body already very effectively delivering Commonwealth concessional loans to farmers until Scott Morrison backed Barnaby Joyce’s ineffective Rural Investment Corporation (RIC) in Orange NSW.
Thankfully, the RIC is playing no role in the flood recovery exercise, having proven it lacks the capacity, struggling to process the current loan applications it has received for farm business loans and drought loans.
Unlike Barnaby Joyce's ineffective RIC, QRIDA had been getting on with the job.
Another Captain’s pick, the Drought Envoy, Barnaby Joyce, is missing in action.
Cattle producers in North Queensland struggling with the dual hits of drought and flood will be shaking their heads that Scott Morrison is treating them like mugs by giving jobs to the boys rather than ensuring any funding provided will be spent effectively and meaningfully.