NO BULL: Police minister Bill Byrne has defended his performance in the agriculture portfolio.
NO BULL: Police minister Bill Byrne has defended his performance in the agriculture portfolio. Elouise Quinlivan

Byrne quick to defend his work as agriculture minister

HE MIGHT have been in the position for only two days but new police minister Bill Byrne is quick to respond to claims he would not be missed in his outgoing seat in the state's agricultural industry.

Mr Byrne was farewelled from the position of Minister for Agriculture under the Palaszczuk government's Cabinet reshuffle earlier this week by a blow from the shadow minister.

Shadow agriculture minister Deb Frecklington was less concerned about welcoming another female to the industry and more focused on the "do-nothing minister" on Tuesday as Leanne Donaldson took over from Mr Byrne as agriculture minister.

"Bill Byrne spent more time offending farmers than working with stakeholders to deliver any support and genuine policy initiatives. He won't be missed," Ms Frecklington said.

"Minister Byrne failed to support primary producers on every major count."

But while he left the role in Ms Donaldson's hands, Mr Byrne was quick to defend his toil.

"One would think that as a female shadow minister Deb Frecklington would at least congratulate the new Queensland Minister for Agriculture Leanne Donaldson in paving the way for females within the sector, but instead the shadow minister comes out with a ridiculous statement, personally criticising a newly appointed minister before she even gets her seat warm," Mr Byrne said.

"Although I should not be surprised that the LNP take this tactic, it is the only thing the LNP knows how to do effectively.

"I also find it interesting to read the comments by Ms Frecklington in relation to how the agriculture industry has been tracking in the past 10 months.

"I worked hard as the Minister for Sport and Racing and the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries to deliver on our election commitments.

"As minister I was able to ensure the continued and expanded rollout of drought relief funding, at a time crucial for the state that is overcome with 86% declared in drought.

"I secured $80 million of funding for community sporting programs and have set reforms in train in both biosecurity and our fisheries assets.

"I am exceptionally proud of our achievements in delivering three new net-free zones and securing their passage through the parliament.

"My reforms to the governance, integrity and financial stability of the racing sector I believe will stand the test of time.

"Finally, our prosecution against the re-regulation of the sugar industry will be a fight that the government will strongly continue in defence of trade and investment in Queensland."

Cabinet reshuffle

Bundaberg MP Leanne Donaldson is Queensland's new Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries as Bill Byrne moves to the police and emergency services portfolio



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