House debates

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Statements by Members

Queensland: Sugar Industry

1:31 pm

Photo of George ChristensenGeorge Christensen (Dawson, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Last night the Queensland Labor government, along with Labor lackey Independents in the Queensland parliament, used their numbers to vote against Queensland cane farmers. They voted in favour of letting a foreign multinational, Wilmar, continue to ride roughshod over the rights of thousands of Queensland's cane-farming families. In December 2015, Labor also voted against the successful amendments to the Queensland Sugar Industry (Real Choice in Marketing) Amendment Act, which enshrined into law the right of canegrowers to determine who markets their sugar. Ever since then, Wilmar has done its darnedest to flout the law and for several months it has failed to allow farmers access to a third-party marketer of their sugar. The current situation is critical. More than a thousand cane farmers came together to share their desperation with the Deputy Prime Minister when he came to North Queensland recently. While Queensland Labor is willing to sacrifice Queensland farmers to a foreign multinational, I am not and neither is the National Party. The Deputy Prime Minister gave cane farmers a commitment that this government will do whatever it takes to get a solution. We will go forward from here to pursue federal intervention to fix this situation once and for all. Wilmar take note: the heavy hand of government is going to come down on you like a ton of bricks because of your failure to do the right thing. What Wilmar should do in the next week is do the deal with QSL to allow these farmers to get on with life.