Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
The Honourable John McVeigh
New frontline officers fight ticks, weeds and wild dogs
The Newman Government has announced 15 new officers will start working to help producers in their fight against ticks, weeds and feral pests, particularly wild dogs.
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry John McVeigh said the commitment delivers on the Government’s promise to revitalise frontline services in the stand-alone Department.
“We are determined to make Agriculture one of the four pillars of our economy and have committed to doubling food production by 2040,” Mr McVeigh said.
“I’m under no illusions that this will be an easy task, but it’s a challenge me and my team are relishing”.
Mr McVeigh said the most immediate production gains would come from existing farms and producers and would be achieved by the frontline officers helping in the fight to control ticks, weeds, wild dogs and other pests.
“My department will be taking a far stronger stance in protecting our primary industries from pests and weeds,” he said.
“We’ll be getting back on the front foot to help farmers, not hinder them.
“Whether it is researchers developing a more disease-resistant strain of apple which produces greater yields with less chemicals, or stock officers working to stop the spread of ticks, DAFF will be doing much more of this type of work.
“That’s what producers need so they can get on with the job of producing more and using less, especially in terms of fertilizer, fuel and herbicide.
“Each position has been created in areas of high need and risk and will boost the levels of professional expertise to prepare for, detect and respond to biosecurity incidents.
“Hopefully this is just the start. I’ve told my Director-General to find more savings so that more staff can be put on the frontline.”
Minister McVeigh also announced the appointment of former UQ Agribusiness Professor Dr Beth Woods as his new Deputy Director-General, giving a strong sign that he was focussed on new leadership and direction with DAFF.
Together with Director-General Jack Noye, Dr Woods will help drive research and development along with extension and education in the department.