QRIDA celebrates its 25th anniversary
Close to $4 billion has been invested in Queensland agriculture in the 25 years since the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority was established but there is plenty more to be done in regional Queensland.
October 1, 2019 marks a quarter of a century since QRIDA (formerly QRAA) began helping Queensland primary producers and other industries do more, assisting close to 93,000 clients to establish and expand their businesses, or recover from natural disasters through grants, rebates, loans and other government financial assistance administered through QRIDA.
As we reflect on the past 25 years, including periods of extensive industry development to devastating disaster, we can't help but look forward to what else QRIDA can do in the future.
Already more than $1 billion in concessional lending had been approved through the Primary Industry Productivity Enhancement Scheme (PIPES) including First Start and Sustainability Loans to assist new entrants into agriculture and help build the long term productivity and sustainability of Queensland primary producers.
Another $865 million has been delivered in disaster recovery grants and loans to help primary producers, small businesses and non-profit organisations to get back on their feet after cyclones, floods, fires and other disasters.
In total, QRIDA has administered 90 different loan, grant and rebate assistance programs.
It's a commitment we're proud of - and there is more to be done and there is an exciting future in Queensland agriculture.
Challenges for our clients such as climate and markets are becoming even more significant, but we have the ability to be agile.
Agriculture is going to change a lot in the next 25 years and we are committed to adapting with Queensland farmers and helping them to invest in infrastructure like fencing, water, energy, digital and other technologies and contemporary management practices.
QRIDA has an increasingly regionalised service delivery model with regional area managers on the ground across 11 regions with about 25 per cent of our staff now based in the regions.
Our service ethic has been the success of our organisation over 25 years.
Our people have always had agriculture and rural Queensland in their DNA, and we have the skills and passion to understand our clients' needs.
How dare you
To coin a phrase: Young Greta's emotional "how dare you."
How dare the governments and former governments of the past 50 years, make excuses for the water situation as it stands, after a severe drought, it is unacceptable.
Many of us have tried to highlight the current situation. We have tried to pressure for improvement but instead we are not acknowledged, then ignored.
Now the LNP are in power and making noises like they have it all under control. How can this be so, when so many towns and communities are crying out in a desperate situation for household water supplies?
Why has so much been squandered on water projects such as the mismanaged and ill-thought-out dams and weirs within the Lockyer Valley?
Then the famous "Petersen Dam" supposedly a reliable source of water to service the Tarong Power Station, is much too shallow and depletes rapidly, resulting in having to have the power station at Tarong, now reliant on a very long pipe line from Wivenhoe Dam.
I repeat to the government, "How dare you!" Our continent is the driest of our world!