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In this issue.....

Sugar Services Proserpine Update
Changes to 2018 Award Wages & Tax Tables
Insurance News
Cane to Coast
Farm Safety Week information
QSL July Grower Update



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Ratoon stunting disease (RSD) is a serious threat the cane productivity and is being detected in higher levels across the state. In 2017 the average detection rate was three percent; this has jumped to over seven percent in some districts this year. RSD will cause stunting and severely reduce yield of infected crops. Losses of between 15 and 40% are quite common.

The disease has been identified in the industry for decades and is spread by planting infected cane and machinery that comes into contact with the juice of the stalk. In some cases the disease can be spread by high winds such as cyclones. Management of RSD requires growers to be vigilant and follow closely the following practices:
  • Obtain seed source material from approve plots or sources every year.
  • Plant commercial cane from known clean sources and be no more than 4 years from an approved source.
  • Ensure machinery used to propagate material is cleaned down and sterilised.
  • Ensure harvesters are blown down, billets removed and sterilised prior to use in clean seed material.
  • Keep records as required by the Biosecurity Act to identify the source of all planting material.
  • Keep records if you distribute cane to other growers for planting material.
  • DO NOT move cane across quarantine zones.
  • Notify SSPL if you suspect you have a problem with RSD.
This disease can be managed however, it will require growers to take all steps to ensure machinery is sterilised properly.

Proserpine has not tested for RSD recently and will commence this in the coming season. Once a grower has been notified that he has RSD he cannot knowingly pass material to another grower without risk of prosecution under the Biosecurity Act.

Please contact SSPL if you have any questions about RSD management.
Be sure to keep an eye on the Canegrowers Facebook page for further updates.

Peter Sutherland
Manager Sugar Services Proserpine
Members are advised that there has been an increase to the Sugar Industry Award, as at 1st July 2018. Please find links below for updated payroll information/documents:
Click HERE for 2018 Sugar Industry Award Rates
Click HERE for 2018 Tax Tables - WEEKLY
Click HERE for 2018 Tax Tables - FORTNIGHTLY
Accident & Sickness should…….
Protect you when you need it most:
  • When you can’t work Due to Illness or Injury
  • Provide you & your family with an income when you cannot earn a living
  • Allow you to recover stress free
  • Give you certainty when you need it most
  • Not add to your problems 

For Farmers, this has meant Accident & Sickness is unappealing.
  • Sum insured uncertainty
  • Age & Cover Restrictions Above age 60
  • Difficulty proving income at Claim time
  • Business expense complications
  • Accepted claims with no benefit payable
  • Many exclusions E.g. specific exclusions, motorcycles, quad bikes, age, sports etc
We've created better Personal Accident Cover.....

Farmers Specific Cover Personal Accident Cover

 Agreed Value – Farm Hand?
  • Up to $1,300pw
  • We do not charge extra for this
  • Can quote on referral 
100% of Insured Amount
  • Up to $1,300pw 
  • Available to newly self-employed farmers
  • Ages up to 70

No Financials at Time of Claim
  • For all agreed value contracts
  • Ensures easy & quick experience for claimants
  • Above $1300 Sum insured financial are required 
Improved Coverage for Motorcycles Use; Working on farms now covered - Motorcycle (500cc), Quads (800cc) and ATV (1000cc) engines
  • Amended non-sealed roads exclusion to cover on designated roads
  • All motorcycles covered on sealed/public roads
For a free, no obligation quote, contact Carol Roberts by phoning 4945 1844 or email:
Click HERE to email Carol Roberts:
FARM SAFETY WEEK - 16th TO 20th JULY, 2018
Agriculture: a snapshot
  • The sector has the highest proportion of self-employed workers (46%) of any industry.
  • It employs a higher proportion of older workers than any other industry (16% are aged 65 and over). 
There are many hazards on farms that are less common in other workplaces, such as: 
  • augers, tractors, motorbikes and quad bikes
  • chemicals—pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers
  • animals
  • extreme weather conditions. 
Farm workers often work alone: 
  • lifting heavy loads or operating machinery by themselves
  • have fewer opportunities for sharing practices, observing and learning from others
  • help or first aid isn’t always nearby if an incident occurs
  • farms may be remote, without mobile phone coverage. 
Vehicles account for over 75% of workplace deaths and are often caused by tractors, aircraft and quad bikes.

How can I protect my workers, my family & myself?

General Safety Tips
  • Eliminate hazards, which means getting rid of things that can kill or hurt workers. If that is not possible then you must minimise the risks, so far as is reasonably practicable.
  • Choose the safest equipment for your farm’s needs and ensure it is well maintained. 
  • Choose the safest chemicals and closely follow the manufacturers’ instructions.
  • Ensure all workers and visitors know about the risks on the farm and how to manage these.
  • Ensure workers have the skills to work safely, for example when handling animals and using farm equipment.
  • Closely supervise new and inexperienced workers.
Quad Bikes & Tractors
  • All tractors should be fitted with rollover protection.
  • Safe tractor access platforms can prevent serious injury or death from tractor run-over.
  • Rollovers are a major risk. Don’t ride or drive across steep slopes.
  • Don’t overload the bike or tractor or use it for things it is not meant to do.
  • Always wear a helmet when riding a quad bike.
Animal handling
  • Ask about animal handling practices to make sure you know how protect yourself, as animals can be unpredictable or dangerous.
  • Take the time to ensure animals are restrained properly before you handle them. 
  • If you handle livestock in pens or yards, make sure these are designed so you can’t be trapped or crushed. 
  • ensure you are in a safe position when loading or unloading animals
  • Check you have a clear escape route
  • Ensure latches, bolts and chains on gates work properly.
  • Avoid working alone when loading or unloading stock.
  • When working inside, for example in a shearing shed, make sure there is enough light to see what you are doing.
  • Reduce the risk of distraction, for example using a mobile phone when working with livestock.
  • Wear appropriate clothing and PPE. 
Child Safety on Farms
  • Create a safe play area for children, such as a securely fenced house yard.
  • Have safety rules that everyone knows and follows.
Minimum rules to include:
• Children stay in the safe play area unless an adult takes them out and looks after them (close and active adult supervision)
• Children always wear seat belts when in cars, utes and trucks
• Children do not ride on tractors, ATV’s or on the back of utes
• Children always wear helmets when riding any bikes or horses

For further information on maintaining a safe workplace, please visit the links below:

Click HERE for QSL's latest update
CANEGROWERS believes that Queensland’s cane farmers are doing remarkable things when it comes to protecting and caring for their environment and the Great Barrier, so we have launched a new feature section on our website called Cane to coast.

Cane to coast showcases CANEGROWERS members and the variety of innovative and creative ways they have responded to the challenges of farming sustainably alongside the Reef. These are just a few of the people among the thousands of Queensland cane growers who have worked hard to protect and care for their environment and the Reef for many decades.

Cane to coast highlights some of the many stories featured in Australian Canegrower magazine and in the Virtual Bus Tour video series, celebrating the commitment of Queensland cane growers to embrace best management practices and strive for a sustainable industry and environment. We hope you enjoy reading it and please share it far and wide to celebrate what we, as an industry, are achieving.


Click HERE for printer friendly version of July's newsletter
RSVP for BOWEN: 24th July, 12pm to 4.30pm, DAF Bowen Research Facility, 45 Warrick Road
RSVP for MACKAY: 25th July, 12 to 4.30pm, Canegrowers Mackay, 120 Wood Street
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Canegrowers Proserpine · PO Box 374 · Proserpine, Qld 4800 · Australia

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