LETTER to the Editor - Reef report

LETTER to the Editor - Reef report

Reef report undervalues grower commitment

Queensland’s cane growers should hold their heads high and reject the criticism in a recent Queensland Audit Office report which undervalues their work towards improving water quality for the Great Barrier Reef.

Growers managing 70% of the sugarcane farm land in Queensland are involved in the industry’s best management practices program Smartcane BMP.

This is a tremendous commitment and well on the way to meeting the 90% target set by government in the Reef 2050 Plan.

Smartcane BMP is a process and accreditation rates are climbing beyond 300 - a milestone which should be celebrated.

CANEGROWERS rejects as outdated the criticism of industry over the information it reports to government.

Aggregated information, which indicates farm practice changes and water quality outcomes across the sugarcane industry, has been provided and this information will be included in the 2017 Reef report card.

CANEGROWERS proudly protects the privacy of members and the farm-specific data of individual growers involved in Smartcane BMP and does not believe the government needs access to what each grower is doing in each paddock.

Through their voluntary participation, CANEGROWERS is proud of its members efforts to meet community and market expectations for quality sugar produced in a way which is sustainable and supports a healthy Reef.

We are seeking to meet with the Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch about this report.

Paul Schembri

29 June 2018