Minister continues commitment to growers

Cane Changer Project Leader, Dr John Pickering (Right) and CANEGROWERS Innisfail Chairman, Joseph Marano (Left) with Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for the Arts, Leeanne Enoch.

Cane Changer Project Leader, Dr John Pickering (Right) and CANEGROWERS Innisfail Chairman, Joseph Marano (Left) with Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for the Arts, Leeanne Enoch.

This article was originally published in the CANEGROWERS Australia Magazine on 14 January 2019.


Queensland’s Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch was presented with a plaque recognising her ongoing commitment to the sugarcane industry during a meeting with CANEGROWERS Innisfail Chairman Joe Marano and Cane Changer project leader John Pickering in Brisbane last month.

 The plaque featured the Cane Changer Commitment Ms Enoch signed in January 2018 when she visited Mr Marano’s farm to view firsthand the work that growers have been doing to protect the environment.

 In her Commitment, the Environment Minister pledged to:

  • Acknowledge the ongoing efforts of Queensland’s cane growers in improving their on-farm practices, especially as they relate to the health of the Great Barrier Reef

  • Recognise the important role that cane growers play for the State of Queensland, and

  • Work collaboratively with the cane industry for a better future, both for the industry and the environment

 Mr Marano said the industry was pleased with the Queensland Government’s continued support.

 “They’ve listened to cane growers and recognised the positive changes we’re making on our farms, so we’ve been able to work collaboratively towards better outcomes for all,” Mr Marano said.

 Cane Changer is a CANEGROWERS initiative based on behavioural science that believes by better understanding growers, recognising them for the changes that have taken place in the past, and telling their story, growers will continue to build a bright future for the industry.

 Funded by the Queensland Government’s Department of Environment and Science, one of Cane Changer’s key aims is to improve the positive recognition of the sugarcane industry by highlighting the ongoing efforts of growers to protect the environment while improving their on-farm productivity.

 The project’s tagline, 'Setting the Record Straight' encourages growers to participate in industry programs such as Smartcane BMP to demonstrate these efforts and tell their story.

 “Growers have been making significant improvements over the years to their farming practices to improve the water quality running out into the Great Barrier Reef,” Dr Pickering said.

 “It is important for growers across the state to have that support and acknowledgement of the changes they have made.”

 Currently, more than 260 growers throughout the Wet Tropics have signed up to the project to set the record straight by signing their own Cane Changer Commitments.

 The commitments ask growers to detail farming practices they have changed in the past and commit to best management farming practices into the future.

 “These commitments help us to tell the grower story and show the wider community the great work that’s happening on-farm to protect the environment,” Dr Pickering said.

 “Minister Enoch’s commitment was a demonstration of the Government’s support for growers and recognition of the great changes taking place throughout the industry. It also signals that change is not just for the grower, but that everyone has a role to play in protecting the Great Barrier Reef.”

Behaviour Innovation