Senate debates

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Questions without Notice

Great Barrier Reef

3:03 pm

Photo of Joe LudwigJoe Ludwig (Queensland, Australian Labor Party, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry) Share this | Hansard source

Mr Abbott will do to Reef Rescue what his state colleagues have done to agricultural departments. Let me quote Senator Back from recent estimates hearings, where he said:

My observation is that most of the state departments have been sort of gutted—diminished.

I could not agree more. That is what we have observed in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. The state agricultural departments have been gutted by Liberal governments, under Premier Campbell Newman, Premier Barry O'Farrell and Premier Napthine.

It is clear that Mr Abbott does not believe in investing in the future of Australia's food industry or in the future of rural and regional economies. All Mr Abbott wants to do is gut spending, cut to the bone and make sure that there is not an agricultural portfolio. (Time expired)


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