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Truss announces the South Queensland sugar advisory group members.



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DAFF04/238WT - 13 August 2004

Truss announces the South Queensland sugar advisory group members

Australian Agriculture Minister Warren Truss today announced the membership details of the sugar industry's new Regional Advisory Group for South Queensland. The group will play a key role in implementing the Australian Government's $444 million Sugar Industry Reform Program (SIRP).

"The Regional Advisory Group will help identify and develop local responses to local challenges - responses that reflect the special circumstances affecting the South Queensland region," Mr Truss said.

"The group will also work closely with the Industry Oversight Group to help identify the priorities for wider reform and develop a strategic vision for the Australian sugar industry."

"Seven Regional Advisory Groups will eventually be established, representing the Queensland sugar regions of Bundaberg, Mackay, the Far North, the South, the Herbert, the Burdekin, and also one for NSW."

The members of the South Regional Advisory Group are:

Chair Tony Nioa, Chair, Sunshine Coast ACC Member David Braddock, Former Managing Director of Maryborough Mill Member David Heck, Managing Director, Rocky Point Mill Member Jeff Schmidt, Canegrowers, Maryborough Member Greg Zipf, Canegrowers, Rocky Point Member Barbara Hovard, Mayor, Maryborough Member Murray Otto, Otto Agribusiness Member Susie Chapman, representative for Environmental Issues

"The members of this group have been selected for their expertise and experience, as well as their enthusiasm for the future of the sugar industry - and that's vital if we are to bring about the changes needed to ensure its long-term future in the South Queensland region."

Mr Truss said the group would also play an important role in assessing project proposals for funding under the SIRP's three-year, $75 million Regional and Community Projects component.

"The funding will back local projects that encourage restructuring and enhance industry sustainability, as well as help sugar-dependent communities better plan for the future," he said.

"It is about sugar communities and the industry finding local solutions to local challenges.

Guidelines for the Regional and Community Projects are available by contacting the local Sugar Executive Officer - Edward Gainer on (07)

5479 5719 - or visiting www.daff.gov.au/sirp

The guidelines are also available by calling the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry on 1800 098 071 (free call), or emailing sugarprojects@daff.gov.au.

Further media inquiries:

Minister Truss' office: Tim Langmead - 02 6277 7520 or 0418 221 433