Cane growers hit airwaves in Reef Bill campaign

Cane growers hit airwaves in Reef Bill campaign
August 2 2019

Queensland’s cane growers are taking to television to tell the State Government its plan to ramp up regulation on their farms is unnecessary, dangerous and not going to guarantee any benefit to the Great Barrier Reef.

“It’s important the Government and our communities hear directly from growers that there is no justification for more intrusive red tape,” CANEGROWERS Chairman Paul Schembri said.

“The so-called Reef Bill currently before the Queensland Parliament proposes an escalation of bureaucratic interference in the sugarcane industry. It is an affront to growers.

“We have been working under regulations designed to improve water quality for the Great Barrier Reef for a decade and the huge investment by growers in changing farm practices has been acknowledged in government reports as having an impact.

“The industry has been innovative and cooperative and growers are taking responsibility for their impact on the environment.”

A television commercial is now being aired by CANEGROWERS across Queensland’s coastal regions accompanied by a longer online video.

The video outlines some of the most disturbing aspects of the Bill for the sugarcane industry:

  • A data grab: The Queensland Government seeks the power to demand business information from any advisor or company working with cane growers.
  • Shifting goalposts: The Queensland Government seeks the power to change the regulations applying to cane farms in the future without sufficient consultation or accountability

“This Bill will stifle expansion and innovation in our industry,” Mr Schembri said. “It will act as a disincentive to further investment because it will leave in a situation of uncertainty.
“The way forward is in continuing collaboration for the benefit of the environment, the economy and our communities.

“We need the government to allow us to forge ahead with the programs and projects already underway which are recognising and valuing growers for what they have done and are continuing to do for improved water quality for the Reef.”