Are reef regulations ‘politically motivated’?
Politically more than environmentally motivated?
I WELCOME the attempt by the Queensland Opposition to halt the implementation of further, intrusive and unnecessary regulation on the state's sugarcane growers.
Sadly we see the Queensland Government actions appear to be more focused on political outcomes, winning votes in the south east with misinformation, instead of working with agriculture to arrive at a sensible environmentally and economically sustainable future for a sector critical to feeding and clothing the nations people, plus earning significant export dollars.
Further regulation of farm practices, wielding a big stick against growers, is counter-productive to delivering a sustainable future for both the Great Barrier Reef and the sugar cane industry.
The Queensland sugar industry has 75 per cent of its cane growing land benchmarked in the Smartcane Best Management Practice, BMP, program, and climbing.
The BMP is not easy for growers to complete, takes time; however, it is outcome focused and it is fair, and it now has international recognition.
Cane farming families fully understand their stewardship responsibility in caring for our land and thus caring for our Reef, having for a long time focused on three key elements, regarding the fertiliser and herbicides they use,
1. Maximising incorporation into the soil;
2. Maximising uptake by the plant; and
3. Maximising retention of all inputs into plant growth and health on farm.
We need to be focused on the whole of communities collective stewardship responsibility and actions to the Reef and understand that sugar cane growers have been in a state of constant change and improvement for decades.
They take their custodial responsibility to the Reef seriously and know that there is a pathway to having a strong, environmentally and economically sustainable sugar industry.
Even the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority - GBRMPA - advises that positive actions may take years, sometimes decades to be reflected on the Reef.
So as the saying goes 'get off our backs', work with agriculture and let us collectively strive for an environmentally and economically sustainable future for Queenslanders.
Kerry Latter, chief executive officer
A new NQ state?
FUTILITY is probably the most apt word to describe the campaign for a new state of North Queensland.
The reasons are self-evident in the recent letter to the editor 'Push for new state' (DM, 29/05/20).
As stated, the requirements of Chapter VI of the constitution would need to be met.
This includes section 124 which provides for a new state to be formed by separation of a territory from a state "but only the consent of the Parliament of the Parliament thereof".
Given there are only 17 seats in North Queensland, compared to 78 in the south-east, the goal of securing the requisite "consent" would doubtless be in vain.
A more realistic prospect is to work toward creating a 'bloc' of candidates from North Queensland with a view to creating a 'balance of power' capable of getting a better deal for their constituents.
This is a goal of the NQ First Party and the energy of those pre-disposed to the sentiments of a new state would be better applied in this direction.
Neil Francey, Mackay