Farmers plea 'a fair go' for regional Queensland
FARMERS are pleading with Queenslanders for support as electricity costs soar and drought conditions continue.
AgForce Queensland general president Georgie Somerset wrote an open letter to share the reality for farmers, teachers, doctors, hairdressers and small business owners living in regional Queensland.
"Some people in our great state think farmers are looking for a handout to overcome the issues they face, let me tell you, they're not,” she said.
"We're all in this together, and the sooner every single one of us realises that the better off every single one of us will be.”
The 'stand up for Queensland Ag' campaign was launched at the Brisbane Ekka.
The South Burnett beef farmer explained it was all about getting a fair go for regional Queenslanders who wanted the same level of support from all political parties across the state.
Ms Somerset said some of the conditions regional Queenslanders live in were reminiscent of some third-world countries.
"Limited water, lack of connectivity, poor roads and other infrastructure, shortages of, on in some cases no, teachers, police and doctors,” she said.
Regional Queenslanders have experienced an increase of electricity costs by 130 per cent over the past nine years.
The regions experience 28.9 per cent more mental ill-health than cities and 2 per cent of a farmer's income is subsidised.
"Imagine having to drive 90 minutes to take your sick child to the doctor because the local GP closed six months ago,” Ms Somerset said.
She described times where farmers have unhitched trailers so they could safely cross a fragile bridge or deciding to not plant crops due to a lack of water to irrigate.
Ms Somerset praised the support and mateship shown through individuals giving time and money to those suffering from the prolonged drought.
More of Queensland is drought declared now than it was 12 months ago.
"The most exhausting part of this for people in regional Queensland is the relentless tide of red-tape and legislation that continues to work against them experiencing that 'fair go',” she said.
People can pledge their support as 'Agvocates' online at standupforqldag.org.au.