NSW budget reveals $300 million missing from agriculture funding

-->

The NSW Opposition has demanded the Minister for Primary Industries explain why the Government effectively cut the primary industries budget by $307 million – by underspending in three of the past four budgets.

Attempting to justify the effective cut in Parliament today, the Minister said that “it’s not a case where every time you get a bit of money in the bank you should rush out and just blow the lot.” 

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Primary Industries Mick Veitch

“The primary industries sector will be rightfully outraged by the Baird Government’s callous hoarding of funding that was intended for primary industries in NSW.

“Country communities will want to know where the money went – at nearly one third of a billion dollars, this is an incredible loss to the industries that drive regional NSW.

“For the Minister to imply that spending this money on much-needed programs is just wastefully blowing the money is a massive insult to rural communities. Spending this money for a purpose like drought support is not ‘blowing the lot’.

“Did the money foregone by Primary Industries end up back in the Treasury coffers in Sydney?

“This is $300 million of vital funding for agriculture, biosecurity, fisheries and crown lands that has now simply gone missing. 

“At a time when rural communities are bitterly disappointed at the lack of additional in-drought funding in this budget for farmers suffering from severe drought, it defies belief that this Government has been snatching pennies in this way.

“This is yet another example of National Party members promising one thing in the bush, and then doing another thing in Sydney.”