Moves by NSW Senator David Leyonhjelm to reverse a hard-fought decision to introduce a sugar marketing code of conduct are both ignorant and arrogant. Senator Leyonhjelm wants to scrap the Sugar Marketing Code of Conduct, and he claims he has the support of Labor senators to do so. This is an arrogant stance by a NSW Senator with no experience or understanding of the sugar industry. He calls cane farmers ‘socialists’ and he says their arguments for a right to a say over who markets their sugar are ‘piss-weak’.
21 APRIL 2017: Decentralising government can bring a lot of benefits if it is managed well so I'm asking North Queenslanders to help identify the best options and then I can lobby for North Queensland to be a beneficiary of the Liberal National Government’s decentralisation push.
WITH the sugar industry facing tonnage losses of between 20 and 40 per cent across the Proserpine, Mackay and Plane Creek districts, as well as Bowen district vegetable growers estimating a $100 million loss, I'm urging the State Government to lodge the request for the next level of NDRRA funding. This would provide primary producers with individual grants of between $10,000 and $25,000 to aid their recovery from Cyclone Debbie damage. Although the assessment of crop damage is still ongoing, some growers in the hardest hit areas of Proserpine have losses of 50 per cent of their crop, and in Mackay and Plane Creek the damage is extensive with estimates of losses of 20 per cent.
THE sudden collapse of arbitration between Burdekin District Cane Growers Limited (BDCG) and Wilmar Sugar has provided further proof of the need for Federal intervention via a Mandatory Code of Conduct. What the industry needs is a rule book and I'm determined to provide it. The arbitration process, which has ended, came about as a result of amendments to the Queensland Sugar Industry Act which was pushed through State Parliament by the LNP and Katter’s Australia Party in 2015. While the Queensland Sugar Industry Act amendments were initially welcomed, the reality is that now they are near-useless, meaning federally something will have to be done.
I congratulate the Queensland LNP on taking decisive action to end the impasse over sugar marketing which is crippling the sugar industry in the north. My Federal colleagues and I are very supportive of this action from the State LNP because growers in the Burdekin, Proserpine,…