Water Quality Regulations - information for banana growers

PROPOSED QLD WATER QUALITY REGULATIONS

Information for banana growers

Update as at March 8, 2019 

The Queensland Government has tabled a Bill in Parliament last Wednesday (27 February) that will impact on several industries including bananas, cane and grazing.

The regulations establish ‘minimum standards’ that set out maximum nutrient application rates, the placement of fertiliser, erosion and sediment control measures and new approval processes for new farming developments. There has been a lot of media coverage of the regulations in recent days.

Officers from the Department of Environment and Science (DES) and the ABGC Board and staff are still debating the minimum standards for the banana industry. There are a few sticking points including the government wanting to cap the amount of nitrogen and phosphorous that can be applied to banana plants. The ABGC Board thinks this is unreasonable as it does not take into consideration the complexity of banana production systems. Discussions with the government are continuing.

To allow growers to have input into the discussions, ABGC staff are organising a meeting at South Johnstone in late March (date to be set).  This will allow growers and the regulators to discuss the minimum standards  as they are currently drafted and how they might be applied on a banana farm.

The ABGC Board understands that no banana grower wants more regulation and no banana grower wants to damage the Reef. Hopefully the industry and the government can come to an agreement about the best way forward.

 

If you want more information on the minimum standards or the meeting with DES officers,  please contact Michelle McKinlay, Industry Strategy Manager, ABGC on 07 32784786 or by email at michelle@abgc.org.au. If you want to make contact with the relevant government officers, you can email officeofthegbr@des.qld.gov.au with your comments or concerns.