MORE RIGHTS: Bundaberg Canegrowers asked federal candidates for more rights to protect farmers.
MORE RIGHTS: Bundaberg Canegrowers asked federal candidates for more rights to protect farmers. Max Fleet

Bundy canegrowers want more research on irrigation

BUNDABERG Canegrowers wants an increase in funding for water research and development for irrigation districts outside the Murray Darling Basin.

The organisation, which represents 350 member families in the Hinkler and Flynn electorates, sent a briefing paper to all candidates, asking for guarantees if they win on September 7.

Key issues raised in the paper include the cost of farming, right to farm and property rights, research and development, irrigation water and the environment.

Bundaberg Canegrowers said there were a number of irrigation issues in the region that needed to be address at a federal level.

"Regulators usually find they have insufficient scientific evidence to make definitive decisions when determining the amount of water that can be extracted from a resource without causing significant environmental harm," the group said.

"Our Hinkler and Flynn communities can no longer afford for regulators to rely on the precautionary principle to compensate for inadequacies when the science is weak or nonexistent."

Bundaberg Canegrowers also seeks to have farmers' right to farm protected by legislation.

The right to farm relates to a cane farmer's ability to carry out routine agricultural activities without undue objection, free from harassment or complaint from neighbours or others.

"We have instances were significant areas of land are becoming un-farmable because of urban encroachment. Growers are continually being harassed for burning, dust, chemical complaints and harvester noise."

Bundaberg Canegrowers chairman Allan Dingle said the group would publish responses from the candidates next week in a special election newsletter.



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