On Monday the Honourable John Muir QC, a former judge of the Court of Appeal, ruled that Section 33A of the Sugar Industry Act 1999 is invalid.
The Queensland Legislation was sponsored by the Katter Party and passed the Queensland Parliament 18 months ago with the support of the LNP. The minority Labor Government opposed the Bill.
Since 2015, the flawed legislation has served only to offer false hope to growers and has unnecessarily dragged out the dispute between growers and millers. It has done nothing to help growers and it’s now dead.
Andrew Robb and Julie Bishop showed leadership by calling the action of the Queensland LNP for what it was – a stunt which would damage investment and jobs.
Now the Katter legislation has been struck down, what are Barnaby Joyce and George Christenson going to do?
Last week Barnaby Joyce said:
“We have options at the federal level.”
“I’ve got other cards up my sleeve and I’ll play them at my will.”
In a speech in Parliament last week George Christensen said:
“The Deputy Prime Minister gave cane farmers a commitment that this government will do whatever it takes to get a solution. We will go forward from here to pursue federal intervention to fix this situation once and for all. Wilmar take note: the heavy hand of government is going to come down on you like a ton of bricks because of your failure to do the right thing. What they should do in the next week is do the deal with QSL to allow these farmers to get on with life.”
The silence from Barnaby Joyce and George Christensen since the legislation was struck down has been deafening.