The Federal Election result last weekend seems to have flicked a switch for Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. She’s moved quickly to travel to my hometown of Mackay and announce that she wanted action and a lifting of the roadblocks to the approval of the Adani coal mine.
It is ironic that the Premier has travelled straight through our lush green sugarcane lands to make an announcement that she has heard regional Queenslanders and her government is listening.
Just weeks ago, several hundred cane growers tried to have their voices heard explaining the adverse impacts of the State Government’s proposed additional Reef regulations – but we have been ignored Palaszczuk Government.
We have been working hard to secure a future for the Great Barrier Reef but the Bill before parliament is dangerous – it proposes wide powers to demand farm data from our advisors and the local business community with a view to use it against us. All this will do is put barriers in front of farmers who want to work to best practice without any guarantee it will improve water quality for the Reef.
It is time for the Premier to show the same leadership for agriculture and our $4 billion industry as she is doing for one mining company - start to listen and act.
I am inviting the Premier to my farm, or any of our 4,000 cane farms in Queensland, so we can talk about how the State Government and industry can work together for the Reef and for our communities.
We are ready Premier, are you?
The letter as it appeared in the Courier Mail, 24 May 2019