Gympie MP Tony Perrett
Gympie MP Tony Perrett

Perrett slams Labor’s silence in crisis

A letter to the editor by Tony Perrett, Gympie MP:

THE State Agriculture Minister’s deflection from Queensland’s economic crisis is remarkably tone deaf (Gympie Times, June 6, 2020).

The Government hides behind coronavirus to cloak its chaos and incompetence in dealing with the confronting economic issues we face.

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Nurse holding test tube with blood for 2019-nCoV analyzing. Novel Chinese Coronavirus blood test concept
Nurse holding test tube with blood for 2019-nCoV analyzing. Novel Chinese Coronavirus blood test concept

Everywhere I go businesses tell me they are seriously stressed. Last week’s news of a 33% surge in Gympie people on Jobseeker welfare is sobering.

Even before COVID-19, Queensland had the highest unemployment figures, highest debt, and lowest business confidence.

It’s tone deaf to pat yourself on the back for that.

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Despite the economic crisis Queensland will have no Budget.

A Budget is an economic plan. Without one there is no real plan.

Claims that a glossy brochure with a picture of cattle and the mention of the word “agriculture” only once, shows support is ludicrous.

Not one State issue he is responsible for was raised.

Member for Gympie Tony Perrett opens the Tin Can Bay Men’s Shed. Picture: Shane Zahner
Member for Gympie Tony Perrett opens the Tin Can Bay Men’s Shed. Picture: Shane Zahner

The growing litany of inaction, hapless incompetence, or outright support for destructive measures speaks volumes about the industries he’s supposed to support in Cabinet.

He’s been missing in action while bureaucratic red and green tape increases.

He ignored the lengthy submissions he asked farmers to make against Jackie Trad’s pet vegetation management laws, never spoke against the reef laws, cut drought funding, didn’t support the LNP’s calls for inquiries into bushfires, backed greenies and removed shark control drumlines, and presides over biosecurity failures.

The fire ant eradication program which costs $411 million of taxpayer’s money has been bungled through waste and mismanagement. A review by the Minster’s own Department made 37 damning recommendations – that DAF can’t even meet its own targets or performance indicators.

The Minister reneged on a $5 million commitment he made to support an invasive weed control program.

A dodgy report from an ALP donor was used to justify closing our Agriculture Colleges.

Queensland’s Coroner said DAF was deliberately obstructionist during a coronial investigation.

The Minister happily reminds people that as a Senator he supported climate change measures. He never mentions he supported the decimation of the live cattle export industry by his Labor factional Senate colleague, Joe Ludwig. He said nothing.

Self-praise is no praise, it’s simply embarrassing.

Tony Perrett, Gympie MP