Media release

Warren Entsch’s $20 million lifeline just another empty promise for Far North growers

North Queensland Secretary of the United Australia Party, Jen Sackley, has blasted Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch’s response to troubles in the cane industry as blatant neglect.

“He is a little too late with his $20 million sweetener,’’ Ms Sackley said.

“The community isn’t buying this from Where’s Warren who only emerges at election time, always bringing people to their knees with unrealistic lifelines and meaningless feasibility studies.

“Yesterday morning local sugar cane truck drivers were advised in a text without notice, that it would be the last crush for the Mossman Mill.

“The situation is dire and all Warren is interested in is playing political games.

“This community does not have the time for another business case or feasibility study. This is blatant neglect.

“This Government has ripped the heart out of Leichhardt once again and I say enough is enough.”

Ms Sackley said the empty $20 million promise rested on the support of the Labor State Government, with which the Leichhardt MP has zero ability to achieve bi-partisan outcomes.

“This town like others before it will die. It is a community on its knees with families left high and dry by this Government and 15 years of Warren’s lies and band-aid solutions.”

Ms Sackley said Far North growers needed to be supported with sustainable futures such as ethanol.

“The $20 Million Man is offering another band-aid solution with a grant that may support the industry for a few years if it ever gets approved.

“The real way forward to achieve longevity for the sugar industry and future generations of farmers is bio fuels.

“The United Australia Party has set clear targets for the use of ethanol-based fuels which will deliver benefits for the agricultural industry, jobs and the environment,” Ms Sackley said.

“The United States wants to establish further naval bases in the Pacific and North Queensland is the ideal position for such a base.

“That would bring hundreds of millions of dollars of investment to Australia and thousands of jobs. The US Congress requires the US Navy to use 50% renewable fuel, which our sugar industry could provide.

“With the United Australia Party, North Queensland can secure its own future. We will achieve an environmentally sustainable future together while generating thousands of jobs and helping to strengthen our borders.

“North Queensland needs leadership that has foresight and political will coupled with the ability to find real solutions. The United Australia Party can deliver,’’ she said.