The Queensland Government’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) are responsible for maintaining a highly efficient, productive and successful agricultural sector. In order to work towards doubling the value of industry production by 2040, DAF aims to simplify industry regulation, reduce risk, increase resilience and invest in frontline services by identifying efficiencies and minimising programs not aligned to priorities.
In 2013-2014, DAF worked across a number of initiatives towards these goals, including recommitting to the Intergovernmental agreement on national drought program reform, which formalises the commitment of all governments to support a new approach focused on better preparedness and risk management. Given Queensland’s widespread drought conditions, new arrangements under the reform have been gradually integrated from 1 July 2014, alongside existing measures. The Australian Government also provided AU$7 million to support the Queensland Government’s drought assistance package during 2013-2014, and in 2014-2015 provided an additional AU$9 million for the Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate.
Previous notable achievements include the implementation of the Intergovernmental Agreement on Biosecurity under the biosecurity reform agenda. The Agreement came into effect in January 2012. DAF, through Biosecurity Queensland, made a significant contribution to the Agreement which has been developed to improve the national biosecurity system.
Biosecurity Queensland (BQ) acts in accordance with the Biosecurity Bill of 2011 to regulate the responses to dangers that threaten the economy and environment. BQ coordinate responses to disease and pests and reduce risks that chemical contaminants pose to agricultural food production systems. By regulating these matters BQ aims to maintain a high standard of plant produce, animal care and keeping, and ensure the health and resilience of Queensland land and the environment.
Another key regulatory body is Safe Food Production Queensland (SFPQ), a statutory body that ensures food safety within the primary production and processing sectors. Under food safety schemes, the SFPQ regulate the production of primary produce to ensure that it is safe and of a suitable quality for human or animal consumption. This process involves monitoring the hygiene and operating procedures of premises, vehicles, plants and equipment used for the production of primary produce.