August 27th 2005

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Articles from this issue:

FILM CLASSIFICATION: Child sexual abuse now allowed in films

STRAWS IN THE WIND: The wages of spin is ... death? / First, the good news / Indoctrinating Muslims, and others / Hacks and spivs

OPINION: The shocking reality of sex trafficking

CINEMA: 'The Ninth Day' - Priests who suffered under Hitler

CINEMA: The Island - Futuristic nightmare of disposable humans

Women in combat (letter)

We already have a Bill of Rights (letter)

NCP not to blame (letter)

BOOKS: BETWEEN PACIFISM AND JIHAD: Just War and Christian Tradition, by J. Daryl Charles


COVER STORY: Is Canberra listening to 'the real world'?

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Family First senator throws down gauntlet

WORLD AFFAIRS: Behind Washington's nuclear deal with India

THE WAR ON TERROR: Tony Blair's U-turn on Islamic extremism

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: Quarantine and trade policy - a deadly mix

QUARANTINE: Citrus canker outbreak 'a national disgrace'

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not to blame (letter)

by Roger Kelly

News Weekly, August 27, 2005

Pat Byrne is right to point out the lack of equity between proprietary millers and cane-farming families (News Weekly, July 30, 2005). However, I disagree with the reasons he gives.

The bargaining régime for cane payment was negotiated and agreed to by Canegrowers, the organisation which purports to represent Queensland cane farmers, and had nothing to do with the much-maligned National Competition Policy. It was a deal between the Queensland State Government and the Canegrowers organisation.

Clearly, as Pat Byrne questions the link between United and CSR, he has recognised, as I have, the potential emergence of a cosy duopoly between CSR and the oil majors to "stitch up" the market for ethanol (E10).

Could I suggest that Pat Byrne would be better directing his ire at CSR and Bundaberg Sugar, rather than government?

Mackay Sugar - a grocer-owned cooperative which I supply - has introduced its own cane payments system which directs an agreed share of income from all sources, including raw sugar, molasses, by-products, co-generation and ethanol (when it comes on stream).

Likewise, the Proserpine Mill will distribute its profit from its Furfural project direct to its growers.

This is a payment system which proprietary millers could adopt if they chose to. Thus far, they have not.

It is neither "economic rationalist policies" nor "National Competition Policy" - just simple corporate policy to maximise profits.

Roger Kelly,
Mount Pleasant, Qld.

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