Minister Mark Furner. PHOTO: ALI KUCHEL
Minister Mark Furner. PHOTO: ALI KUCHEL

Minister addresses Biloela agriculture concerns

MINISTER Mark Furner has moved to allay concerns surrounding cattle branding and access to government services in Banana Shire.

The Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Minister was responding to issues raised by Banana Shire Council.

The council was concerned that any changes to the practice of cattle branding would cause unrest within the agricultural community.

Additionally, the council was worried that limitations on access to the Department of Agricultural and Fisheries office at Biloela may have led to negative community sentiment.

Mr Furner ironed out any concerns the council had surrounding the two issues in a statement to Banana Shire Mayor Nev Ferrier, which was received last week.

Mr Furner said in the statement that the government was not considering banning cattle branding, as long as it was done according to the various laws that govern the use of brands.

Cr Ferrier said it was reassuring to hear that.

Cr Ferrier also said he was pleased to hear the government had no intention of reducing services or resources in relation to the department’s office in Biloela.

“Council was concerned with the recent changes to reception hours at the department’s office in Biloela,” Cr Ferrier said.

“The Minister assured us that these changes did not exclude farmers or any other

members of the public from visiting the Biloela site.

“If reception is unattended, all visitors would be provided with the opportunity to directly contact a nominated staff member, including biosecurity officers.”

Cr Ferrier said the council could not cannot stress enough how important it was to the rural producers and the community that the services provided by DAF continue to be delivered from its facility based at Biloela.