Cane farmers' survey (letter)by Margaret MenzelNews Weekly
, February 8, 2003
In recent months, sugarcane farmers have demonstrated their strong opposition to any further deregulation of the sugar industry at regional meetings, rallies (including the recent largest rally Townsville has ever seen where 4,000 were present), protests and through signing up to an alternative eight-point industry plan to make the industry profitable again.
A return to conditions of 100 years ago with no security for growers, contractors or industry workers and their communities will not be tolerated by growers.
Any move by the Federal or Queensland government that undermines the industry further will be seen as "rural treason" and a betrayal of rural and regional communities and the sugar industry.
Incredibly, the Queensland Government has distributed a questionnaire to cane farmers asking their opinion on a report it commissioned from the Centre for International Economics (CIE). The report recommended deregulation of the industry. One would have thought the growers' message to government had already been made very clear!
The Sugar Reform Committee has received numerous requests from growers opposed to deregulation and demanding the removal of the Ministerial Directive, which forces growers to sell their sugar below cost, at half the average world cost of production.
Growers and others who have been mailed the questionnaire are urged to respond, voice their opinion and demand a fair price for their product.
In order for growers to access additional sugar industry information, or should they wish to join the united voice of others who have sought to oppose deregulation and support the eight-point plan, they can contact Margaret Menzel at firstname.lastname@example.org (also PO Box 2252, Ayr, Qld 4807), or the Kalamia Canegrowers office in Ayr at email@example.com.Margaret Menzel