Despite calls to the Queensland Minister for State Development, Natural Resources and Mines to assist canegrowers at Oaky Creek, the Palaszczuk Government is refusing to move on vital programs that address river erosion, says Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry.
“I visited Oaky Creek just after Cyclone Debbie and spoke at length to local canegrowers and the Canegrowers Association,” Ms. Landry said.
“While urgent work is needed to fix the immediate erosion issue at Oaky Creek, the Canegrowers Association are also seeking ways to manage long term damage through the reintroduction of the River Improvement Trust, a successful program for instream works, repairing erosion, de-weeding and desilting to allow river systems to function in a natural manner.”
Under Queensland regulations, River Improvement Trusts are managed by local government bodies. Mackay Regional Council would need to initiate the River Improvement Trust and provide a yearly action plan to state to access matched funding, by working with the Natural Resource Management Body and growers to develop priority projects.
“The Canegrowers Association wrote to the state minister over a month ago requesting urgent support before any further degradation took hold,” Ms. Landry said.
“Our farmers are trying to do the right thing by the environment, the laws and for cane production but are being ignored by their local and state representatives.
“Despite attempts to push this forward, the office of the State Minister for Natural Resources has simply said that the letter is in a large pile and they could not provide a timeframe for a response.
“I will be writing to both the state and local government to facilitate a meeting with growers and resource management groups in the hope of getting an outcome on this.”