LETTERS: by De-Anne Kelly BE MPNews Weekly
Sugar industry (letter)
, October 4, 2003
It seems that Queensland's Development Minister Barton has, on behalf of the Beattie Government, finally withdrawn the flawed legislation that would have deregulated the sugar industry.
The National Party told the Beattie Government that this unilaterally introduced legislation, masquerading as reform, was unacceptable under the Federal/State Memorandum of Understanding unless significant amendments were made which addressed the issues of:
* The need for an arbiter of last resort;
* The potential for misuse of market power; and
* The proposed exemption regime.
Despite four months of bluster from the Beattie Government these constructive amendments to their legislation were not forthcoming.
The National Party has successfully stared down the Beattie Government on this occasion.
The distress in the industry continues, however, despite the best intentions of the Australian Governments assistance packages, and this could get worse if the Beattie Government is returned to power, after the forthcoming State election, with the same overwhelming majority.
They will undoubtedly reintroduce their flawed sugar legislation, and force it through the State Parliament.
There is, however, one strong deterrent available to cane farming families and communities - reduce the Beattie Government majority by un-electing their local Labor Member of State Parliament, who has sold out their interests for the sake of a Brisbane-centric government.
How do they do this?
When you vote at the next State election you must fill in every square on your ballot paper. Mr Beattie is counting on them 'Just voting One' which allows many of his State Labor Members to be elected with less than 40% of the overall vote.
The National Party respects a decision to vote for other conservative parties or candidates, but if they "just vote 1" for them, and they do not get enough votes to win, their vote is discarded - it does not count toward their second choice candidate.
To defeat the Beattie sugar legislation they must fill in every square on the ballot paper, and put the National Party candidate as number 1, or if they are voting for another conservative party or candidate, put the National Party at number 2.
They must always put the Labor candidate last.
As a sugar industry leader said to me recently:
"There has never been a greater need to have a National Party government in Queensland."
They were absolutely right - and I need more National Party colleagues in the State Parliament to fight hard for the rights of rural and regional communities.De-Anne Kelly,
Federal Member for Dawson, Qld