The farm­ing facts

Whitsunday Times - - YOUR SAY -

THE brain­wash­ing of His Royal High­ness, the Prince of Wales, in re­la­tion to the im­pact of cane farm­ing on the Great Bar­rier Reef is dis­turb­ing to say the least.

Most read­ers would have been ap­palled at how the future King of Aus­tralia was led up the gar­den path on his lat­est visit to Queens­land, es­pe­cially now with our farm­ers and gra­ziers right in the fir­ing line again as a re­sult of La­bor’s pro­posed tree-clear­ing laws.

I won­der if the Prince was briefed on that and how these laws will im­pact the peo­ple at the very heart of Queens­land’s $20 bil­lion agri­cul­tural sec­tor?

Nev­er­the­less, I’m pleased this lat­est episode of farmer bash­ing attracted a swift re­sponse from my con­stituent Paul Schem­bri in his ca­pac­ity as chair­man of Cane­grow­ers.

As Mr Schem­bri noted, al­most 75% of the State’s cane farm­ing ar­eas have vol­un­tar­ily en­rolled in the in­dus­try’s best man­age­ment prac­tices pro­gram, Smart­cane BMP, which was launched in my elec­torate in 2013 .... un­der the then LNP State Gov­ern­ment.

Many farm­ers are also closely con­nected to their lo­cal NRM or catch­ment group in­clud­ing NQ Dry Trop­ics, which from my ob­ser­va­tions as a for­mer mem­ber of NQ Dry Trop­ics, has led the way in its field over many years.

If any­one be­lieves there is some il­le­gal chem­i­cal use by farm­ers, it should be re­ferred im­me­di­ately to the rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties - not a Prince from 16,000km away whose knowl­edge of the sugar in­dus­try could be writ­ten on the back of a match­box.

With the great­est re­spects to His Royal High­ness, I sug­gest he visit a cane farm on his next royal visit and that is ex­actly what I’ll be say­ing in my first let­ter to Buck­ing­ham Palace.

— Ja­son Costi­gan MP Mem­ber for Whit­sun­day

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