Future secure for $1 billion Landcare program

An investment of more than $1 billion over five years in the National Landcare Program announced in this week's Budget will supports the type of environmental work I fully applaude. It provides practical, on-the-ground ways to improve issues like soil health, erosion management and water quality, making the program relevant to all land managers – but especially farmers. Our farmers manage about 53 per cent of our landmass and with global demand for food and fibre set to double by 2050 it’s important that we keep Landcare front and centre to assist them to manage our natural resources. Every farming family I know wants to pass on their land in better shape than when they got it and our investment through this Budget will help them achieve those goals.

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Mackay businesses invited to seize North Asia free trade opportunities

I encourage business owners to seize the opportunity to gather firsthand information on trade opportunities from the experts at a seminar for small to medium sized businesses in Mackay next week. Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Keith Pitt will host the seminar for those who want to discover how Australia's Free Trade Agreements with China, Japan and Korea can benefit them. The free event will be held on Friday, May 12 at the Mackay Grande Suites, Flinders Room, 9 Gregory Street, Mackay from 12.30pm to 3.30pm. There are businesses in the region reaping the benefits of the free trade deals which are now in place with our Asian neighbours and I would love to see others explore the options available.

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Who should call North Queensland home?

21 APRIL 2017: Decentralising government can bring a lot of benefits if it is managed well so I'm asking North Queenslanders to help identify the best options and then I can lobby for North Queensland to be a beneficiary of the Liberal National Government’s decentralisation push.

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Action needed on grants for farmers

WITH the sugar industry facing tonnage losses of between 20 and 40 per cent across the Proserpine, Mackay and Plane Creek districts, as well as Bowen district vegetable growers estimating a $100 million loss, I'm urging the State Government to lodge the request for the next level of NDRRA funding. This would provide primary producers with individual grants of between $10,000 and $25,000 to aid their recovery from Cyclone Debbie damage. Although the assessment of crop damage is still ongoing, some growers in the hardest hit areas of Proserpine have losses of 50 per cent of their crop, and in Mackay and Plane Creek the damage is extensive with estimates of losses of 20 per cent.

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