Agriculture generated more than $218 million in the Gympie region last year.
Agriculture generated more than $218 million in the Gympie region last year. Rebecca George

Candidates unveil pitches to boost $218m Gympie industry

AGRICULTURE is the Gympie region's second-most productive industry, and the people vying for the Wide Bay's seat reveal their policies to secure the future of an industry which generated $218 million last year.

* The candidates for One Nation and Fraser Anning's Conservative National party did not respond to the questions.

Daniel Bryar, Greens

Daniel Bryar, Greens candidate for Wide Bay.
Daniel Bryar, Greens candidate for Wide Bay. Contributed

LET'S start by ensuring no CSG (coal seam gas) wells are allowed to poison the ground water, and no mines are allowed to use fresh water to wash coal.

Water is a precious commodity and will become more important than oil in a decade.

Open, honest and transparent management of our water resources is essential to grow our agricultural industries, along with agricultural education in high school.

Jason Scanes, Labor

Jason Scanes (Labor) Wide Bay
Jason Scanes (Labor) Wide Bay

WE'LL be looking at bolstering the resilience against drought, lifting productivity and securing sustainable profitability and making sure we invest in road, rail and communication infrastructure so our primary producers can actually get their product to market.

We've got a number of mobile blackspots that were under rounds one through to four that still haven't been delivered, and they've opened up round five now.

We really need to push in those directions.

Labor is also going to look at reviewing the water restrictions with the aim of removing existing rules for plantations and forestry farming carbon initiatives.

That will be significant to the region as well.

Andrew Schebella, United Australia Party

Andrew Schebella, UAP candidate for Wide Bay.
Andrew Schebella, UAP candidate for Wide Bay. Contributed

FIRST and foremost, our farmers know how to manage their land and know how to care for their land.

What we as a government need to do is reduce the tax burden and the red tape so that they can get on and produce the best they can.

We are here to support them when support is needed.

United Australia Party will introduce the Australia Fund so that if a natural disaster happens, we are prepared to support our primary industry.

It is only the UAP that recognises that what Australia grows, grows Australia.

Llew O'Brien, Nationals

Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien.
Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien. Contributed

AS PART of the plan for a stronger agricultural sector, we are protecting farmers from extreme anti-farming activists through new privacy law protections and a new criminal offence for inciting trespass to do commercial detriment.

We are also growing our support for farmers through our $6.3 billion drought package.

Taking our kids to farms and bringing farms to kids through a $10 million Educating our Kids about Agriculture Program. Supporting farmers to maintain and improve on-farm biodiversity by developing and trialling a new $34 million Agricultural Stewardship Program and an Australian Farm Biodiversity Certification Scheme.

Investing more in combating pests and weeds with an additional $10 million injection to support council led efforts in drought affected areas.

Promoting the importance of bees to the success of agriculture and the entire value chain with a $1.5 million investment.

Tim Jerome, Independent

Tim Jerome
Tim Jerome

I AM both a teacher and a primary producer.

I believe my experience in both fields can allow me to support primary producers.

I believe it starts in our children's education.

With Gympie being a regional community with rural background, I believe that our schools should be teaching and offering Ag classes to our students.

Yes, Gympie High and Victory College offer these subjects but I believe they should be offered in all schools within our region.

I will be advocating for an agricultural college for our region.

At the moment, we are having this type of learning being axed and dismantled.

The opposite should be happening especially for our region.