Australia: Officials Urge Bundaberg Port Dredging
Dr Patricia Petersen, Leader of the Australian Independents, said that her party is committed to Maryborough cane farmers receiving a further $10 million in direct funding.
Dr Petersen also said that the Australian Independents were fighting to ensure that the port at Bundaberg, which was damaged by flood, is repaired as soon as possible, to assist cane farmers.
“We have a situation here where many cane farmers have been completely wiped out. The Maryborough harvesting season is supposed to begin in a couple of weeks. The planting season is scheduled for September yet some farmers won’t make it. This isn’t a problem, it’s a catastrophe in waiting,” she said.
“The flood waters have subsided but the residual financial and emotional damage remains; the sugar industry is an extremely important industry that must be supported and protected,” said Dr Petersen.
“Ten million dollars to support the sugar cane industry isn’t a cost, it’s a prudent and fiscally responsible investment,” said Dr Petersen.
Dr Petersen said that her party was committed to dredging at Bundaberg Port.
“The sugar industry will significantly benefit from dredging at Bundaberg Port.”
“At the moment, small ships transport sugar to Mackay for reloading; we need to get large ships in so that large quantities of sugar can be loaded; we need to ensure that large ships carry sugar for export.” she said.
“The dredging needs to be completed as soon as possible; not attending to this issue is costing the industry close to $10 Million per year. We can’t afford not to dredge,” said Dr Petersen.
Press Release, July 12, 2013