PRIORITIES: Canegrowers Proserpine manager Michael Porter agrees regional Queensland must take priority in this election.
PRIORITIES: Canegrowers Proserpine manager Michael Porter agrees regional Queensland must take priority in this election. Charlotte Lam

Canegrowers outline priorities for election

WITH the Queensland Election confirmed for January 31, Canegrowers has set out five key priorities its chairman says must be addressed by every campaigning party serious about growing the state's second-largest export commodity - sugarcane - and the strength of regional Queensland.

Canegrowers chairman Paul Schembri said regional Queensland must be a priority this election.

"We are giving every side of politics the keys to how they can actively drive the economic and social benefits of our state's regional areas by removing the barriers to the growth of their iconic Queensland sugarcane industry," he said.

Canegrowers' priorities:

 To address the commercial imbalance in marketing following actions by large corporate millers, which, if not dealt with, would strip away the long-standing rights and protection of farmers against monopoly behaviour.

 Reducing unaffordable electricity costs by a third across regional Queensland by, among other things, stripping "gold plating" on networks that has contributed to making Queensland's regional electricity provider the most profitable in Australia.

 Support for industry-driven environmental programs such as best management practice so that proven achievements, rather than the bureaucratic regulation, underpin the future of farming.

 Fix unworkable transport rules that hamstring the movement of farm machinery and set up a system that ensures access to the road network so growers can conduct their business legally, safely and economically.

 Industry research to ensure Queensland remains competitive on the world stage, which is important as some 80 per cent of Queensland's sugar is exported.

Canegrowers' election advocacy brochure outlining its five key platforms is available online at its website www.canegrowers.com.au.


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