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Neville delivers sweet relief for sugar industry.



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ARTICLE

Paul NEVILLE MP

paulneville.com.au

Neville Delivers Sweet Relief for Sugar Industry Monday, 19 September 2005

Local cane growers will receive their second Sustainability Grant payment within days, after successful lobbying from Member for Hinkler Paul Neville. Mr Neville welcomed Agriculture Minister Peter McGauran’s announcement today that $73.05 million would start rolling out to cane

growers across eight regions this Wednesday, and said farmers now had ‘hope for the future’. “Queensland growers will share in around $68.4 million under the second payment, after the various regional reform plans were ticked off by the Industry Oversight Group,’ he said. “That means each region now has a blueprint for the future, while farmers have the wherewithal to put them into action.” Mr Neville said the Sustainability Grants were a central part of the Government’s $444 million national sugar reform package announced in Bundaberg last year, with the Government agreeing to provide funding for reform provided the sugar industry met two conditions. “Firstly, that satisfactory regional plans were drawn up so that each sugar growing area has a strong platform for the future, and secondly, that the industry showed a real commitment to structural reform.” “My first priority as a Federal representative is to ensure farmers, harvesters and their families stay afloat through these tough times and have a future in the district. It’s now up to the industry to put these reform plans into action to make sure that happens.” “Global circumstances and a corrupt world sugar market have made life very tough indeed, but this funding provides hope for a sustainable future while reforming the industry to meet global competition head-on.” Mr Neville also announced that the second round of the Regional and Community Projects initiative would open next Monday (September 26) and close on November 18, 2005. “Funding for this program totals $75 million over three years, and projects should support the implementation of regional reform plans throughout the industry.” Mr Neville thanked members of the Bundaberg Regional Advisory Group - Chair John Bell, Bill Moorhead, Daryl Corpe, Gary Longden, Mark Hochen, Joe Russo, Alwyn Heidke, Sandra Walk, and Mark Mammino - for their hard work in developing an effective local reform and restructuring plan. Further information on the Sustainability Grant and the Regional and Community Project program (second round application information will be available from September 26) can be found at www.daff.gov.au/sirp. For further information on the SIRP 2004, call Centrelink on Freecall 1800 050 585 (8am - 5pm).