Canegrowers Maryborough Chairman Jeff Atkinson. Photo: Stuart Fast
Canegrowers Maryborough Chairman Jeff Atkinson. Photo: Stuart Fast

‘Water means jobs’: Cane boss calls for election action

"WATER means jobs, simple as that".

With those words Canegrowers Maryborough Chairman Jeff Atkinson welcomed a plan to fast track an $18 million dollar water storage project near Maryborough.

It's an LNP election promise and Mr Atkinson hopes that after a year of let downs, the tide could be turning.

"We've been singing out for this for a long time, one of the biggest issues in Maryborough is lack of water," Mr Atkinson said.

"On the farming side of it there are 90 growers, then there is approximately 150 people reliant on harvesting, haul out and transport and then you've got the workers at the mill."

Amid ongoing certainty over the future of the Maryborough mill, Mr Atkinson said some growers had diversified their crops, but many livelihoods were still tied to sugar cane production.

"The growers that ring me say they are still growing some cane, so there is an industry here," he said.

"We're hoping to come up with something positive that works, so the industry survives."

Mr Atkinson said that post October 31 he hoped the newly elected State Government would do three things for the sugar cane industry - provide water support, tackle the Maryborough mill issue and relieve reef regulation burdens.