'WE'VE HAD ENOUGH': Growers called on to fight Reef laws
A PROSERPINE cane grower has called on the region to band together and join the fight against controversial reef regulations they say will strangle their profitability and resources.
More than 100 Whitsunday growers and industry professionals met with Green Shirts Movement national co-ordinator and former State of Origin prop Marty Bella, as growers continue to debate increased protective Great Barrier Reef regulations.
Following the passing of the Queensland Labor Party's laws last month, which were touted as a way to protect the reef from farm water run-off, the Senate has approved an inquiry into whether farming and water quality adversely affect the reef.
One man backing the Green Shirts Movement is fourth-generation cane grower Peter Muller from Proserpine, who called on his fellow growers to take a stand against the state laws.
"Peak bodies and the government aren't doing anything for us so it's time for us to start doing it for ourselves," Mr Muller said.
"This isn't just about us cane farmers, it's about the fishermen, the rural towns and rural communities who are being forgotten about.
"We've hung on but now we've had enough."
Those in attendance on Friday heard Mr Bella speak for close to an hour as he aimed to inspire growers by highlighting the impact united numbers could make as the senate inquiry continued its course.
"Change for change's sake is ridiculous," Mr Bella said.
"This does not make us more profitable - the regulations will just be using more of our resources and more of our time, and for what return?"
Mr Bella openly disagrees with the statistics and science used to back the case for the Queensland laws.
He said although there were cases of sediment and nutrient run-off in river mouths, this was not the case out on the reef.
"There's nothing there," Mr Bella said.
"There is too much reliance on modelling and not enough getting your feet wet and hands dirty - there is a perceived problem that we believe doesn't exist."