November 1st 2003

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: France and Italy address fertility crisis

EDITORIAL: Bushfires: why the nightmare will be repeated

CANBERRA OBSERVED : Reforming the Senate?

MEDIA: Packer's media-gambling alliance

HEALTH: Abortion-Breast Cancer cover-up continues

FAMILY: Preserving marriage in Australia

AGRICULTURE: Mandate ethanol or sugar industry faces collapse

LETTERS: Time for farmers to wake up (letter)

LETTERS: New TV code of practice (letter)

LETTERS: Special needs, special treasures (letter)

LETTERS: New use for sugar cane trash (letter)

LETTERS: Nuclear menace (letter)

HEALTH WATCH: The 'morning after' pill: coming soon to a school near you?

WATER: Federals distance themselves from 'The Living Murray'

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Jim Cairns remembered

COMMENT: SBS programming questioned by Vietnamese community

ASIA: Siberia - China's 'great game' to reshape Asian region

COMMENT: Don't forget the threat from North Korea

Hong Kong: next elections a test for Beijing

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New use for sugar cane trash (letter)

by Selwyn Johnston

News Weekly, November 1, 2003

Queensland sugar cane farmers have at last been delivered some "good news" via the Local Government Authority of Queensland (LGAQ) annual conference held in Cairns recently.

The unanimous support by LGAQ delegates, representing all 125 City, Town and Shire Councils, for a new manufacturing industry producing biodegradable "sugar-derived" plastic bags, will help the sustainability of the family cane farmer.

Sugar cane "trash", or cane bio-mass, which currently is either burnt or left in the paddock as "blanket cover", will be baled and sold through a cane farmer initiated "Community Cooperative" to a co-operative-owned manufacgradable "sugar-derived" plastic bags and other environmentally friendly products.

Community Cooperatives in sugar cane regions from Mossman to Nambour are currently being formed, or considered, in response to the problems associated with the deregulation of the sugar industry.

The biodegradable sugar-derived plastic bags concept has been enthusiastic supported by all Queensland Local Governments, who are confronted daily with the difficulties associated with non-degradable petroleum-based plastics.

This commonsense solution, initiated by cane farmers, is not only a win for the sugar industry, but offers the State Government a real opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to ensure a sustainable and viable sugar industry by providing the necessary support to achieve its objective.

Selwyn Johnston
Cairns, Qld

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