Minister signs cane industry commitment

Environment Minister Steven Miles signs a Cane Changer commitment watched by (L-R) John Pickering of Behaviour Innovation, CANEGROWERS Innisfail Chairman Joe Marano, CANEGROWERS Chairman Paul Schembri and CANEGROWERS CEO Dan Galligan. Image supplied by CANEGROWERS

CANEGROWERS has welcomed the Queensland Environment Minister’s signed commitment to the sugarcane industry which recognises decades of grower investment in environmental outcomes.

Steven Miles signed a Cane Changer commitment in front of representatives of all of Queensland’s sugarcane growing regions.

He has committed to:

  • acknowledging the ongoing efforts of Queensland cane growers for improving their farming practices, especially as they relate to the health of the Great Barrier Reef;
  • recognising the important role that cane growers play for the State of Queensland; and
  • working collaboratively with the sugar industry for a better future for the industry and the environment.

“This is very significant to the cane industry on many levels,” CANEGROWERS CEO Dan Galligan said after the meeting.

“We are pleased to have the Queensland Government, represented by Mr Miles, commit to our industry as our growers have committed their time, money and creativity to environmental outcomes.

“The Cane Changer project, backed by the Queensland Government and being delivered by Behaviour Innovation in the Wet Tropics region, is unique in Australian agriculture.

“It is a platform for recognising all of the work being done on cane farms to protect the Great Barrier Reef and what they are planning to do – it puts the grower and their businesses at the centre and sets the record straight.”

The project is being rolled out through events in the Innisfail, Tully and Cairns cane growing regions with plans to extend its reach in the future.

“In just five months, 109 growers have signed Cane Changer commitments and momentum is growing.

“We are delighted that Mr Miles is recognising this effort and decided to join in making commitments of his own to acknowledge the efforts of our growers, recognise our industry’s importance to Queensland and to work collaboratively with us in the future.

“Over the past 20 years the pace of innovation and change in the Queensland sugarcane industry has been rapid, driven by the need to remain profitable in a competitive world sugar market while minimising the impact of our farming practices on the wider environment, particularly the Great Barrier Reef.

“Our industry best management practice program Smartcane BMP, in which 66% of Queensland’s sugarcane area is enrolled, is driving that process further.

“We are grateful that Mr Miles has committed to acknowledge that effort and to work with us to take it into a sustainable future.”

CANEGROWERS remains opposed to the regulation of farming practices in Great Barrier Reef catchments, promoting Smartcane BMP as the most enduring way for industry to meet its obligations to improve water quality.


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