Thursday, 4 June 2020

AS North Queensland sugar growers prepare for the 2020 cane harvest, Townsville-based Senator Susan McDonald has highlighted the key role the Morrison Government’s Sugar Code of Conduct played recently in Tully.

After 18 months of Tully growers and the Tully Mill owner, Cofco, not being able to agree on a Cane Supply Agreement for this year, the parties went to mediation as a provision of the Sugar Code of Conduct.

The dispute was finally resolved in April, prompting glowing endorsement of the Code from Tully Canegrowers and Canegrowers Queensland.

In a press release issued by Canegrowers, Tully Canegrowers chairman Jamie Dore said: “The Code has delivered for growers and given us an outcome. Our experience shows that the code is extremely valuable and it works.”

Canegrowers chairman Paul Schembri added: “What the Tully outcome shows is that the Code does work.”

Senator McDonald, who last year launched a Senate Inquiry into the Queensland Government’s reef regulations on farming, said the outcome in Tully was further proof that agriculture had a safe pair of hands in the Coalition and the Queensland LNP.

“The Code had the strong support of an industry that wanted help to rein in the power of big millers at the negotiating table,” she said.

“The Coalition responded to these concerns and devised a plan that works.

“We’ve also implemented a Dairy Code of Conduct and I’m confident it will also level the playing field between farmers and processors.

“You’ll hear other parties claim they fight for farmers, but the Coalition is the only party that has proven it can and will take action.

“We’ve made billions of dollars available to help those in drought, we’ve opened up new trade routes with Indonesia and Peru and we’re deep in talks with India to send our produce there.

“At State level, the LNP continues to fight against Labor’s punitive reef regulations that threaten cane and cattle farming in the North.

“I think it’s terrific that growers have access to this Code and that the Tully farmers obtained a favourable result.

“The Nationals and Liberals will continue to ensure farmers have access to fairness, transparency and strong political support.”