“No Longer Relevant” is the reason Agriculture Minister Mark Furner has given this week in State Parliament behind the cut to a popular school-based agriculture program.
The AG Force run SIPP program is set to be cut from schools across the State from next year by the Queensland Government.
Mr Furner says the State Parliament the program is being cut because it has limited reach and had run its course.
The SIPP program has been running for the past 14 years and more than 10,000 Queensland school students a year benefited from the program.
SIPP aims to teach young people about agriculture, the origins of food and farm life.
The Minister says it’s no longer needed.
“The evolving school curriculum with an increased focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics and the success of targeted agriculture education programs such as the Agribusiness Gateway Schools to Industry Program also means that SIPP is not as relevant as it was when it was commenced over a decade ago.”
“The program has limited reach given the large number of schools throughout the state and the cost of extending that reach equitably across Queensland is prohibitive.”
“For these reasons no funding has been allocated for the continuation or expansion of the SIPP beyond 31 December 2018.”
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington says it’s a move that undermines the future of agriculture in Queensland.
“This is a hands-on education program that showcases where food comes from and highlights agricultural job opportunities to school students. We need to be encouraging our kids to explore careers in agriculture to ensure the industry has a strong future.”
“We also need to be encouraging people to buy our produce and education is a key stepping stone.”