CANE: Canegrowers are dissapointed.
CANE: Canegrowers are dissapointed. Ray Matthews

LETTERS: Canegrowers want to meet minister

One sided

CANEGROWERS noted, with disappointment, Queensland Minister for Agriculture Bill Byrne's comments in the News Mail of January 18 - LNP stuffed up.

The Minister's comments, while consistent with his previous statements, only serve to further illustrate the Palaszczuk Government's one-sided perspective of the ongoing marketing dispute between regional Queensland cane growers and Wilmar International.

The Minister's letter promotes one side of what is a complex discussion.

The other side of the story is to recall that a federal, bi-partisan Senate Committee conducted an extensive inquiry into this issue in 2015 and recommended government intervention to secure growers' rights in marketing arrangements.

Subsequently, the Queensland Parliament, our democratic body responsible for delivering responses to such issues facing Queenslanders, passed the amendments to the Sugar Industry Act. This legislation opens up competition in the provision of sugar marketing services in the State.

These changes were necessitated by the decision of some milling companies in Australia to depart from previous marketing arrangements and to deny growers a choice in how their economic interest in marketing outcomes would be delivered.

Avoiding a blanket approach via legislation may have been preferable, but it was clearly not an option, as not all milling companies were willing to work with growers to establish fair marketing arrangements. Subsequently, though, most of them have been proactive.

To date six of Queensland's seven milling companies, including two foreign-owned multinationals, have successfully negotiated cane supply agreements with growers as well as an on-supply agreement with Queensland Sugar Limited, allowing growers to exercise choice in the marketing of sugar.

One of those foreign-owned companies, MSF Sugar, has also announced a significant new investment in the industry since the passage of the legislation.

We understand the Palaszczuk Government has a very fixed view on this issue, but we look forward to an opportunity to meet personally with the Minister to offer him the growers' perspective firsthand.


CEO Canegrowers

Greenhouse concern

How likely is a runaway greenhouse warming on planet Earth?

Venus, with a mainly carbon dioxide atmosphere ninety times as dense as ours, has one.

Mars, with a similar level of carbon dioxide in a very thin atmosphere, is instead a frozen desert.

As CO2 is a trace gas on Earth, a cubic metre of Martian atmosphere actually contains more carbon dioxide than its Earth equivalent.

Density of atmosphere and distance from the sun would appear to be the major determinant for a life extinguishing greenhouse effect.

Percentage of atmosphere C02 does not.

So is Earth's atmosphere dense enough to sustain a cataclysmic greenhouse?

As scientists believe that Earth's original atmosphere was thicker and rich in both C02 and methane, and as Earth has had water oceans and life for nearly four billion years, the simple answer is probably not.

The planet has been warmer than now for most of the time complex life has existed.

Asteroids and volcanism have probably caused many extinction events but advanced life forms have survived every one e.g. Mammals, birds and flowering plants survived the end Cretaceous.

Either the planet has had four billion years of dumb luck or we're pretty safe.



Political tango

NOW that Cr David Batt has declared himself a member of the LNP and the Mayor Jack Dempsey is also a welded on devotee, just how many other council members and bureaucrats belong to political parties?

How many of them are influenced by the directives of faceless power brokers in the back rooms of the LNP and ALP?

Prior to the disastrous council amalgamations in 2007/08, imposed by then tyrannical premier Peter Beattie, most members of local councils were non-aligned to any political party and operated independently.

But it soon became obvious that the sole purpose of amalgamation was to give more power to the two major parties.

It gave them control over just about every facet of council operation including the disbursement of monies, administrative control, and the inside-running on the types and sizes of developments planned; worthwhile information for anyone planning on investing.

While the Beatty/ Bligh government were the prime movers for amalgamation, the LNP put up little resistance to stop it.

They knew the ALP government was in trouble with the electorate (what's new) and they would eventually get their turn at the steering wheel. They could then help themselves to the goodies amalgamation had provided.

What it all boils down to is there is very little difference between the way the LNP and the ALP operate. It's all about political power, centralised control, money, lining pockets, and favouring their rich friends.

If another LNP or ALP party hack should win this seat at the next state election nothing will change.

Much like former state and federal LNP and ALP seat warmers to this region, who have come and gone without leaving so much as a smidgen of improvement on the local landscape.

And as for our local councillors the question remains; just how many of them are doing the political tango with music supplied from party headquarters in Brisbane?



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