In August, farmers will be asked to vote on ASA’s proposed reforms to RD&E. To date, the process could only be described as a railroading of levy payers by people who have been determined to remove support from BSES and SRDC in order to point the finger in support of their plan to control our RD&E.
Make no mistake, their plan calls for the end of BSES after 112 proud years and the end of SRDC.
Under ASA’s plan, BSES will cease to exist. Claims that the best bits of BSES will be transferred to SRA are absurd.
ASA is claiming that levy payers will vote but that is only for setting the levy which is already required by law. Voting on company matters will be by regional delegates – one per mill area, so the levy paying farmer will be forced to pay and have no say, in the vote. This is undemocratic and unacceptable for a compulsory levy.
Industry money used on consultants ASA has used industry money to pay for almost $1M on consultants.
This money could have been spent on actual RD&E, rather that talking about it and enriching consultants. If ASA gets its way, millions more could be spent which could have been spent on RD&E. How is this efficient?
Where is the BSES Board in this?
BSES members should have been asked which services they require and how much they wish to pay. To date, the Board of BSES has been listening to ASA to the exclusion of BSES members.
At Eoin Wallis’s farewell, he admonished the industry to view R&D as an investment and not a cost. Quinton Hildebrand, Chairman of ASMC and major proponent of ASA’s plan, said that BSES is internationally recognised as the world leader in sugar cane R&D. But he is one of those about to wind up BSES!
I urge all farmers to vote ‘no’ to the sugar poll and ask you to please read carefully, the related stories in this edition. We may only get one chance on this important issue.
During the first half of 2012, 418 combined years of expertise has been made redundant from BSES. These people can never be replaced!
On behalf of the Board and members of Australian Canefarmers, I’d like to commend the outgoing BSES staff for their service and dedication to the industry.
Their loss is truly a colossal mistake, which has reduced the capacity of our RD&E.
I’d like to introduce our Next-Generation program and our Next Generation Officer Annlouise O’Brien.
ACFA is pleased to launch this important initiative and I invite all young cane farmers to get involved.
The future of our industry is with the successful induction of younger farmers into our farming businesses, preparing them to eventually take over the reins.
Over the next few months AFCA will be introducing the Next Generation program to all the young cane farmers across the Australian Sugar Industry.
The carbon tax is yet another divisive issue which could have long-term knock-on effects on farmers.
In its special report, ‘The Clean Energy Plan and Australia’s industries’ (June 2012), the IBIS group calculates that Australian Agriculture will decline in revenue by 6.4% in 2012-13; 0.9% in 2013-2014; and 0.8% in 2014-15. The NFF has quoted this and stated that independent consultants and ABARE have confirmed that ‘higher electricity costs and the likely pass-through of costs from the processing sector fertiliser’ will be a factor. Of course transport, fertiliser and other embedded costs will cause major impacts.
The ACFA Board and management have been working to establish a close working relationship with the Newman LNP Government. I look forward to a productive relationship to achieve better outcomes for cane farmers and I look forward to reporting on our progress in my future comments.
I wish you all a safe and profitable cane season in 2012.