Hinchinbrook MP, Andrew Cripps, says only the LNP is in a position to deliver for cane growers in Queensland on the issue of sugar marketing, with Labor confirming they won’t do anything to help resolve the current impasse.
Mr Cripps said yesterday’s announcement by Agriculture Minister John McVeigh that a re-elected Newman LNP Government would legislate to protect ‘grower choice’ in sugar marketing arrangements if millers failed to negotiate a fail deal with growers.
“I thank Minister McVeigh for visiting canegrowers in Ingham, Tully and Innisfail yesterday to confirm that the LNP was fair dinkum about protecting the interests of canegrowers and if necessary, would legislate to ensure a fair outcome” said Mr Cripps.
“As Minister McVeigh described it, we are ‘upping the ante’ in this debate after 9 months of milling companies being unwilling to consider the very strong views being put forward by cane grower representatives about their concerns” he said.
Mr Cripps said he had always maintained that the best outcome would be for the leadership of the sugar industry, from both the growing and milling sectors, to come together and work out a fair and equitable commercial arrangement.
“However, as that is not happening, Minister McVeigh has now made it very clear that if the millers refuse to come to the table, a re-elected LNP Government would intervene to deliver a marketing deal that’s fair for canegrowers” said Mr Cripps.
“In contrast, Labor had demonstrated its lack of interest in agriculture by confirming that it would do nothing to assist cane growers overcome the significant uncertainty in the industry in relation to marketing arrangements” he said.
Mr Cripps said the LNP had been listening to canegrowers and was now sending a very clear message to sugar millers that they should not doubt the LNP’s determination to resolve the current dispute over sugar marketing arrangements.