“Growcom continues to make a big difference to the viability of the Queensland horticulture industry. Growers need to get behind the organisation to help further this work.
I worked for Growcom for 10 years as a Land and Water Field Officer, predominantly delivering the Reef Rescue program in the Wide Bay and Central Queensland region. The role involved assisting growers to analyse their current farm management practices and in helping them access government incentive funds through the Reef Rescue program, to implement practice change on farm.
From my experience working with the organisation, and in talking to so many growers, I understand the incredible work that Growcom does in advocacy, with all benefits flowing to growers.
Growcom’s advocacy work has brought about many big dollar, tangible benefits for farmers.
Reef Rescue provided farmers with grants of up to $10 000 to purchase new machinery to improve farming efficiency and help reduce the amount of sediment, pesticide and fertiliser run-off from their properties. Growcom, on behalf of horticulture, and Canegrowers, the peak body for sugar cane growers, lobbied the government for these funds initially about 10 years ago when the threat of increased regulation was high. Two consecutive five year programs of $200 million each were rolled out along the Queensland Coast, from Gympie to Cairns and west to the Great Divide. Without Growcom’s work, funding would not have been available for horticultural growers to implement beneficial improvements on their farms.
We are just over half way through a seven year electricity pricing cycle. Growcom’s lobbying has saved the average horticulture farmer about $5000 per year in electricity costs.
Following any natural disaster in horticultural regions, Growcom staff are on the phone talking to farmers in the affected region, to quantify the value of damage they have sustained. With this data, Growcom then lobbies the state and federal governments for funds needed to rebuild and repair. Following the severe weather events in the past decade, growers in the affected areas have been able to access up to $25 000 to rebuild farm infrastructure.
These are just a few topics where the level of support provided to growers throughout Queensland in the past decade, would be in the scores of thousands of dollars. Membership is only $528 per year. If you are a horticultural grower in Queensland and have received any of these benefits, you should consider joining the organisation to ensure its work on behalf of industry can go on.
The more paid-up members within the organisation, the more clout and credibility Growcom has when lobbying government for increased industry benefits.”
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