Minister Miles Recognised for his Commitment

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This article was originally published in the Cassowary Coast Independent and Innisfail Advocate on 26 October 2017

This week Queensland Environment Minister, Steven Miles was presented with a plaque recognising his commitment to the Queensland Sugarcane Industry. The plaque featured his Cane Changer Commitment which the Minister signed at a recent CANEGROWERS Policy Council meeting in Brisbane in July this year.

At the Policy Council meeting, the Minister signed a Cane Changer Commitment committing to:

  • acknowledging the ongoing efforts of Queensland cane growers for improving their farming practices, especially as they relate to the health of the Great Barrier Reef;
  • recognising the important role that cane growers play for the State of Queensland; and
  • working collaboratively with the sugar industry for a better future for the industry and the environment.

In presenting the plaque, Dr John Pickering, representing Cane Changer said the signing of the commitment was positively received by the sugarcane industry.

“Growers have been making many changes on their farms for years and to have this formally recognised was a significant moment” he said, “it goes a long way in setting the record straight and encouraging further change within the industry.



“We wanted to present Minister Miles with a plaque to thank him for his acknowledgement of this fact, and for his willingness to try something new. He is the first Minister to sign a behavioural commitment document.”

More than 157 growers have also signed their own Cane Changer Commitments as part of their involvement with Project Cane Changer. The commitment asks growers to write down the new practices they have adopted on their farms, and commit to best management farming practices into the future.

Cane Changer is a CANEGROWERS initiative that believes by building a better understanding of growers, and acknowledging them for the changes they have already made, more growers will be encouraged to be involved in change and continue to adopt new ideas into the future.

Funded by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, one of the key goals of the Cane Changer is to build recognition of the efforts of the farming community to improve their productivity and address their impacts on the environment.  

Minister Miles’ commitment to the industry, on behalf of the Queensland Government, was a demonstration of this recognition and willingness to support the good work growers are already doing.

Dr Pickering believes that bringing about change, especially on a population level, does not happen in isolation.

“It is the shared responsibility of everyone involved to ensure there is a positive environment that supports and encourages growers to continue to make choices that benefit both the environment and their businesses” he said, “There has been a great effort from the industry to improve productivity and environmental awareness and we are keen to see that continue to grow into the future”

Cane Changer wants to recognise all growers. To find out more and get involved head to or speak to your local Smartcane BMP facilitator.