LNP Member for Hinchinbrook Andrew Cripps has warned sugar cane farmers across North Queensland that Labor and the Greens have done another election deal that will undermine their productivity and tie them up in red tape.
Mr Cripps said Labor and the Greens had a long history of making pre-election preference deals in Queensland that resulted in Labor Government’s imposing burdensome legislation of farmers, especially the sugar industry.
“The announcement last week of Labor’s reef policy was short on detail, but the few things that were mentioned had all the tell-tale signs of a deal with the Greens,” said Mr Cripps.
“Huge reductions in nutrient and sediment run-off were proposed in the policy within short timeframes, which can only mean one thing – Labor will be reinforcing their restrictive and onerous regulations on North Queensland farmers.
“It is well established that the biggest threats to the Great Barrier Reef are cyclones, crown of thorns star fish and coral bleaching – not North Queensland farmers – who are an important part of our local economy and community.
“Labor’s policy is not about the future of the Great Barrier Reef at all – this announcement is all about a back room preference deal with the Greens ahead of the election, with agriculture and jobs in North Queensland paying the bill.”
Mr Cripps said Labor has refused to rule out achieving their targets through more regulation and red tape, which would increase costs and decrease productivity for famers across the Hinchinbrook electorate and North Queensland.
“In contrast, the LNP has worked cooperatively with the sugar industry to develop the SmartCane BMP program and increased investment in research and development that improves farming practices and increases returns,” he said.
“The LNP are putting sensible, common sense polices back in place to strengthen and grow agriculture – the sugar industry and farmers across North Queensland can’t afford to go back to a Labor Government that panders to the Greens.”