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George Christensen Says He Will Secure Fairness For Cane Farmers

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Fairness for growers will be secure under a Liberal National Government with this week's announcement that the existing Sugar Marketing Code of Conduct will be kept in place unchanged said Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen.

He said that the government had listened to growers concerns about further reviews of the code being unnecessary, and had decided not to act on a recommendation to undertake such reviews by the Federal Department of Agriculture late last year.

“The Sugar Marketing Code of Conduct is my baby; I’ve worked on it from the very start, and got it delivered, and I am now pleased to say that the Liberal National Government will not change it, but keep it in place with no need for any more reviews,” Mr Christensen said.

“However the same thing cannot be said for a Shorten Labor Government given that they opposed the code of conduct when it was brought in and voted to repeal the code of conduct when it was put to parliament.

“Neither Bill Shorten nor his Labor candidate for Dawson has said whether or not they will scrap the code but growers and communities that rely on the sugar industry can be sure that a Liberal National Government will keep this code in place.

“I call on the Labor Party to find their voice on this and tell us whether they’re prepared to back farmers over foreign multinational millers.

“Do they want fairness for farmers?

“If they don’t commit, they certainly don’t deserve to represent Australia’s biggest sugar-growing seat.”

Late last year the Federal Department of Agriculture and Water Resources reviewed the Sugar Marketing Code of Conduct and made a number of recommendations to the government.

Two of those recommendations – to remove arbitration for non-marketing matters and having a review of the code in two years’ time – were immediately rejected because growers disagreed with them.

It was then recommended that a review would take place in four years’ time, but after the Member for Dawson consulted extensively with cane-farming groups and delivered their feedback to the government, they’ve decided not to go ahead with that four year review at all.

The existing sugar industry code of conduct meets all other standards set by the Department review.