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CLICK HERE for printer friendly version of April's newsletter
29 April          Women in Sugar 2019 Australian Conference: Tyto Conference Centre, Ingham
30 April          ASSCT 2019 Conference begins: Toowoomba
30 April          BMP Smartcane workshop: Canegrowers Proserpine, 9am-11am

14 May           BMP Smartcane workshop: Canegrowers Proserpine, 9am-11am
28 May           BMP Smartcane workshop: Canegrowers Proserpine, 9am-11am

June               ChemClear chemical collections begin (date to be advised)
11 June          BMP Smartcane workshop: Canegrowers Proserpine, 9am-11am

Counting has been completed for CANEGROWERS Proserpine’s Triennial Election with the following seven directors being appointed for the next 3 year term:




Justin BLAIR




Peter QUOD


Thank you to all those who participated by nominating – in the end, it was a particularly close contest. Congratulations to the elected representatives and a huge thank-you to growers for taking part in the ballot.


The new board will commence its’ term on 1st May. Executive and Committee positions will be determined at the statutory meeting, which has been scheduled for 8th May.



CLICK HERE to RSVP to Christine Peterson -

Petition to register farmer anger at regulation


Farm groups have launched an online petition against the Queensland Government’s tightening of regulations on agriculture in Great Barrier Reef catchments.


“Farmers take their environmental responsibilities seriously,” CANEGROWERS Chairman Paul Schembri said. “But the raft of provisions in the Bill that’s before parliament dismisses all of the voluntary and valuable work for improved reef water quality underway across Queensland’s agricultural industries. The #RejectTheRegs petition will give farmers, their communities and everyone who supports agriculture a vital voice because the Queensland Government is refusing to hear us. The Parliamentary Committee’s review of the Bill has not taken the opportunity to listen to anyone outside of Brisbane – it has not travelled beyond Parliament House.”


“I urge every cane grower, every farmer, in Queensland to sign this petition and encourage your family and everyone you know to sign it also.”


The impact of Environmental Protection (Great Barrier Reef Protection Measures) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill will be far-reaching.


“If passed, the government will have the big brother power to demand data on farm business transactions and any advice given to farmers,” Mr Schembri said. “We don’t need this sort of interference in the day to day decisions of Queensland farms and regional businesses. We already work under a raft of rules and regulations and passing this Bill will leave us at risk of the regulatory goal posts being shifted in any way at any time with no regard to the impact of the changes or any mechanism for review and appeal. This is an unacceptable way to treat a valuable Queensland industry and we will make sure our voices are heard.

Click HERE to sign the petition
To sign the petition, you're required to type your first and last names and your email address. If you would like assistance signing the online petition, the Proserpine office can help you through the process.

On Wednesday 3rd April, 26 growers attended an ‘energy solutions for irrigation’ information session facilitated by SRA. Jon Welsh, an economist with AgEcon presented his findings so far, investigating lowering grid pumping costs. He discussed a range of case studies, technologies, and policy and rebates surrounding energy.

Matthew Baldwin and Craig Brooks, senior solar energy consultants with GEMENERGY, followed by discussing solar in more detail, including case studies and navigating Ergon network requirements and tariffs.

There was high engagement from growers, with many growers taking the opportunity to ask questions, and engage in discussions surrounding energy solutions for irrigation. Matthew and Craig are interested in returning to Proserpine to continue conversations with growers in the near future.

Any growers who are interested in obtaining a copy of the presentations, can contact Molly O’Dea (Adoption Officer, SRA Proserpine) on 0439 619 082, mo’, or call into the SSP office.


As part of the government’s move to bring supervision of rail operations under one entity, the Office of National Rail Safety Regulator, some growers will have received a document from Queensland Rail called a “Rail Crossing Licence and Interface Agreement”. These are a standard form agreement that QR requires from owners of adjoining land that have private crossings over QR lines. The agreements are being progressively rolled out throughout QLD to all landholders who have such private crossings. The basic intent of the agreement is to formalise and regularise the use and access arrangements for private level crossings over QR lines.

The organisation’s legal advisor, CJ Cooper & Associates, has examined the agreement and confirms its relevance and intent. Basically, the agreement contains rights and obligations for both QR and the landholder. As such the landholder should make themselves aware of the obligations under the agreement. Those obligations are mostly common sense and would have been largely complied with in the past, but nevertheless the landholder should familiarise themselves with the requirements.

If you have received such an agreement and are concerned with any aspect, please contact the CANEGROWERS Proserpine office for assistance.

Click HERE for further information

Good news: QSL April Advance Payment increased to 5%

QSL’s Treasury Manager, Ginette Barrett, presented QSL’s annual Market Update and Product Roadshow at the Proserpine Metropole  on Wednesday, 10 April 2019.  Ginette covered the recent raw sugar trading activity, key fundamental and technical drivers, QSL's current market view and QSL’s 2019 pricing options.  If you missed the session and would like further information, please call Caitlin Davy:
 0429 804 876 or alternatively, email


Global Sugar Alliance member Guatemala has joined Australia and Brazil in lodging a request for consultations in the World Trade Organisation. India’s sugar subsidies include domestic supports provided by both national and state level governments and export subsidies.   Activating the WTO’s first formal dispute resolution process is a serious and important escalation of international efforts to have India reconsider and revise its sugar policies to bring them into line with its WTO commitments.

“Without India’s subsidised surplus sugar production, the world sugar market this year would have been in significant deficit, stocks would be drawn down and sugar prices much stronger. Guatemala’s decision to join the WTO action is very welcome and shows India’s policies are affecting efficient sugar producers around the world.” Global Sugar Alliance Chairman, and Managing Director QSL, Greg Beashel said.

Australia’s counter-notification in November last year raised the flag on this important issue. Rather than bringing its subsidies into compliance with its WTO obligations, India in February announced further supports in the form of soft loans and further increased the domestic support price.  “Guatemala’s decision to make use of the WTO dispute settlement mechanism is important. Our industries are suffering significant injury as a direct result of India’s subsidies and domestic support measures. We are confident that a solution can be achieved during the consultations with India or, in any event, that the positions of Australia, Brazil and Guatemala will prevail before a WTO Panel,” Leopoldo Bolaños, International Trader, Guatemalan Sugar Association. 

“Responding to the price crisis caused by India, with losses estimated at more than USD3 billion to the worldwide-sugar industry in the 2018/2019 harvest season, the Brazilian government decided act in a firm and timely manner in the WTO together with Australia.  We are delighted that Guatemala has joined the fight to overturn India’s market distorting sugar policies,” Eduardo Leão de Sousa, Executive Director UNICA.

“The Thai sugar industry is fully supportive of the action.  We are working with our government and hope that, after the March elections, Thailand too can join Australia, Brazil and Guatemala in this important WTO initiative,” Vibul Panitvong, Chairman of the Executive Board, Thai Sugar Millers Corporation.

action is necessary because India is ignoring its WTO obligations.  We are encouraging the Canadian government to join as a third party, once a Panel is established,” Sandra Marsden, CEO, Canadian Sugar Institute.

The Global Sugar Alliance priority is to secure a world in which sugar can be traded freely across regional and global markets.  This means reducing border protection, remove trade distorting domestic supports and eliminating export subsidies.
FAMILY TRUSTS     with Bob Bogie & Co
I have written articles in the past on partnerships and companies. Whilst such entities have their own complexities, they are relatively easy to understand. What I find, however, is when discussing commercial matters with clients, particularly at the stage of preparing wills, it is clear that clients can be confused.  In many cases,  more complex structures have been suggested by accountants for tax purposes or by lawyers for asset protection purposes.
I thought it would therefore be beneficial to outline a few of the more widely used structures (they are widely used in many industries including farming). The first is the family trust.
Family Trusts
The term “family trust” refers to a “discretionary trust” (assets are held in trust and distributed at the discretion of a trustee but in terms of a trust deed) set up to hold a family’s assets or to conduct a family business.  Generally, these are established for asset protection or tax purposes.  
What is a family trust?  
An Australian family trust:
• is generally established by a family member for the benefit of members of the “family group”;

• can be the subject of a family trust election which provides it with certain tax advantages, provided the trust passes the “family control
  test” and makes distributions of trust income only to beneficiaries of the trust who are within the “family group”;  • can assist in
  protecting the family group’s assets from the liabilities of one or more of the family members (for instance, in the event of a family
  member’s bankruptcy or insolvency); • provides a mechanism to pass family assets to future generations; and • can provide a means
  of accessing favourable taxation treatment by ensuring all family members use their income tax “tax-free thresholds”.
Trust Deed
The terms and conditions under which a family trust is established and maintained are set out in its deed. The trust is established by the trust’s settlor and trustee (or trustees) signing the trust deed and the settlor giving the trust property (the “settled sum”) to the trustee.  The trustee can be either an individual or individuals.  A trustee can also be a company.
The Settlor
The settlor’s function is to give the assets to the trustee to hold for the benefit of the trust’s beneficiaries on the terms and conditions set out in the trust deed.  The settlor executes the trust deed and then, generally, has no further involvement in the trust.
The Trustee
The trustee is responsible for the trust and its assets.  The trustee has broad powers to conduct the trust and manage its assets. In a family trust, the trustees are usually Mum and Dad (or a company of which Mum and Dad are the shareholders and directors).  The children and any other dependents are usually listed as beneficiaries.
Family Trust Income
One of the key benefits of a family trust is that the trustee can distribute income earned by the trust (from the trust property) in any way the trustee sees fit, provided distributions are made to people who qualify as beneficiaries.
In trust deeds, frequently primary and secondary beneficiaries are named.  The trustee has the power to select which beneficiaries from the group are to receive the income. As can be appreciated, substantial power rests with the trustee and therefore the appropriate choice of trustee is very important.
Family Trust Capital
The trust deed will also make provision for ultimate distribution of the capital of the trust.
In certain trust deeds, an “appointor” is named.  This allows a party who would normally be appointed trustee, but who wishes to delegate that control, to remove a trustee and appoint an alternative trustee if required. 
In view of the upcoming Federal Election, it is worth noting that one political party at least may be proposing legislation on family trusts.  It remains to be seen what will eventuate.
It is wise to obtain legal and financial advice from a solicitor or accountant prior to making a final decision on operating through a family trust.

The information contained in this article is not advice and should not be treated as such. It is based on Queensland Law and where applicable Commonwealth Legislation. You must not rely on the information in this article as an alternative to legal and financial advice from a properly qualified professional. If you have any specific questions about any legal and/or financial matters, you should consult an appropriately qualified professional.


The Proserpine office 'looking for work' board is running low and we have members searching for employees to help with the 2019 season. If you or someone you know is looking for work, please drop into the office any day between 8.30am to 5.00pm and we'll add your details to the job board.

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