LETTER to the Editor - Please use your vote wisely

LETTER to the Editor - Please use your vote wisely

I urge all sugarcane growers in Queensland and the people who depend on our industry to take a big picture view of the future into account when voting in Saturday’s Federal Election.

While not headline-grabbing through the campaign the issues of trade and market access, the environment and electricity prices are crucial to ongoing prosperity and confidence in our industry.

As members of the National Farmers Federation, CANEGROWERS has supported the NFF’s comprehensive list of priorities for the parties to consider, all geared towards a robust agricultural sector and a goal of being worth $100 billion by 2030.

That’s an ambitious growth trajectory from the $60 billion it is today but with the right policy support from government, it can be done.

So, we are looking to the next Australian Government to be proactive and ambitious on trade, to progress free trade talks to open markets because without places to sell the 80% of Australian sugar that’s exported at good prices, we will not survive

We need a government to work with us on environmental issues and to value and reward the achievements we’re racking up as we position our industry as a supplier of sustainable sugar.

And we need urgent action to pull electricity prices into line. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has provided a roadmap for sorting this out with its recommendations delivered last year – they are sitting on a shelf waiting for political action.

So I urge you to take a look at how the major parties have responded to these and other key issues in the NFF’s Commitment Tracker which is on the www.farmers.org.au website.

In some areas there are clear differences between the parties and it’s important to understand them before you vote.

We are privileged in Australia that we can all vote in safety and have confidence in an untainted outcome – so please use your ballot wisely.

Paul Schembri