Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS | OPINION -

The Palaszczuk La­bor Gov­ern­ment sup­ported by Rob Pyne and Billy Gor­don this week proved they are no friends of Queens­land sug­ar­cane farm­ers.

In State Par­lia­ment, on Wed­nes­day night, March 1, La­bor and two in­de­pen­dents teamed-up with multi­na­tion­als to deny Cane­grower’s the chance to fi­nalise fair on-sup­ply agree­ments.

La­bor’s six-year dereg­u­la­tion of the su­gar in­dus­try un­der Peter Beat­tie from 1999 failed to pro­vide for­mal dis­pute res­o­lu­tion pro­cesses. The LNP’s amend­ments of 2015 pro­vided ar­bi­tra­tion for dis­putes be­tween grow­ers and millers and our lat­est amend­ments would have done the same for dis­putes be­tween su­gar millers and su­gar mar­ket­ing en­ti­ties. This would en­sure com­pe­ti­tion and not al­low Millers to ob­tain a mo­nop­oly po­si­tion. The pro­posed amend­ments were not in­tro­duced into Par­lia­ment lightly – but done so to en­sure grower choice and com­pe­ti­tion in the su­gar mar­ket­ing.

La­bor’s self­ish po­lit­i­cal ac­tions, in uni­son with Rob Pyne and Billy Gor­don, have left 1500 cane­farm­ers, their fam­i­lies and their lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties in limbo with­out cane sup­ply con­tracts for the fast-ap­proach­ing start of the 2017 crush.

Th­ese farm­ers and their fam­i­lies have been left high and dry - vic­tims of the long-run­ning dis­pute be­tween Wil­mar Su­gar and mar­keter Queens­land Su­gar.

But La­bor, Rob Pyne and Billy Gor­don couldn’t care less. They’ve done noth­ing but yell from the side­lines and now they’ve ef­fec­tively stymied a long- term mech­a­nism to solve this and any fur­ther dis­putes be­tween millers and mar­keters.

Un­for­tu­nately, the re­fusal of La­bor and the In­de­pen­dents to sup­port grow­ers is a di­rect con­se­quence of hav­ing a La­bor Gov­ern­ment with no in­ter­est in re­gional com­mu­ni­ties.

Tim Ni­cholls , LNP Leader

In Par­lia­ment recently we saw La­bor’s Health Minister Cameron Dick ram through leg­is­la­tion to pro­tect the se­cre­tive men­tal health tri­bunal process at the ex­pense of fam­i­lies who have lost loved ones at the hands of pa­tients re­leased by the tri­bunal.

Queens­lan­ders have also been left in the dark over rev­e­la­tions of a dodgy ap­point­ment that Mr Dick was aware of back in De­cem­ber and did noth­ing about un­til now.

What has been re­vealed over the last few months is a men­tal health tri­bunal in melt­down and a La­bor Gov­ern­ment that is do­ing noth­ing about it. Sim­ply rush­ing through amend­ments to cor­rect a ma­jor le­gal bun­gle will do noth­ing to an­swer many of the ques­tions left unan­swered.

Queens­lan­ders de­serve to have con­fi­dence in our men­tal health sys­tem.

It’s time An­nasta­cia Palaszcuzk and her Health Minister of­fered the trans­parency and ac­count­abil­ity

Queens­lan­ders expect and de­serve from their Gov­ern­ment.

John-Paul Langbroek – Shadow Health Minister

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