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Bundaberg CANEGROWERS Ltd – Your Industry Body

Welcome to Bundaberg CANEGROWERS


“NO TO DEMPSEY” is the campaign cry being put out by Bundaberg primary producers, who have immediately hit out at Jack Dempsey’s election “wish” to limit future rates rises to CPI.

Bundaberg Ag-Food & Fibre Alliance (BAFFA) represents primary producers from sectors that contribute around $2 billion a year to the Bundaberg economy, and support tens of thousands of jobs.

BAFFA Director Dean Cayley said: “In Jack Dempsey’s election statement on 29 January he talked about working to limit future rates increases to CPI. This was a pledge he made in 2020 to farmers in this region before then hitting them with a rates increase of up to 235% in a single round. That was crippling then and it has continued to compound with each rates round. It also went directly against the Queensland Government’s Guideline on Equity & Fairness in Rating.

“In addition, Cr Steve Cooper announced at the same time– while laughing to the camera – that the 10% early payment discount for ALL ratepayers was being removed without any warning or consultation. It was all disgraceful and nothing anyone has said makes any difference to this council under Jack Dempsey.

“He has his multi-million-dollar ratepayer-funded BundabergNow propaganda machine in place and he uses it to the full.

“As for Jack Dempsey’s platform of ‘progress and growth’, that’s a joke. He’s doesn’t support primary producers, who are one of the pillars of the Bundaberg economy, and the tens of millions of dollars of waste going on right now in our community is astonishing.

“We have had it up to here with Mayor Jack Dempsey and his cohorts, and we want a change of the guard.”

BAFFA’s campaign against Cr Dempsey is based on a single word: NO.

“NO to Jack Dempsey as Mayor, NO to high rates, NO to the millions being wasted on glory projects and NO to the BundabergNow propaganda machine,” said Mr Cayley.

“Our council needs to be looking after our community, not putting increasing financial pressures on its citizens and businesses. In the meantime, Jack Dempsey has himself been the sole approver of massive pay rises for the Bundaberg Regional Council CEO, who now earns $428,000 a year in a region recognised by the government’s social indices as being of high disadvantage.

“As primary producers in our region, we are relied on to put food and drink on every table here and across Queensland and wider Australia, and to create and support tens of thousands of jobs and livelihoods. But our own council is one of our worst enemies.”

Mr Cayley said: “After the 2020 rates hit of up to 235% on Category 9 Farmland and the removal of the 10% early payment discount, a petition was started to have the Queensland Government’s ‘Guideline on Equity and Fairness in Rating’ enshrined in law. That move has won widespread support across the state, including from the Local Government Association of Queensland.

“If the Guideline becomes mandatory, no Mayor of Bundaberg can ever hurt ratepayers in the same way that Jack Dempsey did in 2020.”

Mr Cayley said: “We urge every vote to remove their support for Mayor Jack Dempsey and his councillors in the March 16 council elections.

“Say NO to Dempsey.”

Fertiliser Bag Disposal

There is once again a way of disposing of the 1T bulk fertiliser bags. There is a scheme called the Big Bag Recovery program where only approved brands of bags can be  dumped for free while the other brands have a $5 per  bag disposal fee. Currently the only place where both types of fertiliser   bags will be accepted is at the Qunaba Waste Disposal Site   on Potters Road. Bags delivered at  other sites are deemed general waste  and a higher fee is charged.

The approved fertiliser bags include those from Incitec Pivot Limited, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Impact fertilisers, Tarra, GrowForce and Summit Fertilisers. The full list of approved  bags can be found at www.bigbagrecovery.com.au/#brands.

Non approved brands such as Koch will incur the $5 per bag disposal fee.

To prepare for disposal the online disposal booking form needs to be completed with a date and time, preferably with 24 hours notice, the bags need to be stacked and folded   with the fertiliser brand facing out,  stack the bags onto the vehicle separating the approved and non approved bags.  Once at the disposal  site a declaration  form  needs to be completed with up to 300 bags accepted at one time.

If growers have more than 300  approved scheme bags they are able to organise for an on-farm collection by Gary Gillis of Beneficial Recycling who can be contacted by email  gary.gillis@beneficialrecycling.com.au or phone on 0403 431 705.

Further information can be found on the Bundaberg Regional Council website www.bundaberg.qld.gov.au/waste-recycling/waste-recycling-programs/8. 



Sugar cane growers can now access an online training course to help them manage nutrient applications on their farms. The Sugarcane Nutrient Management training program is now available online as well as on your mobile phone, making it easier for farmers to learn how to manage nutrient applications effectively.Open your account here: https://sugarresearch.talentlms.com/index

For mobile users, download the TalentLMS mobile app for iOS and Android phones ensures that training goes on, even on the go.

Here are the simple instructions:
1.  Download the LMS Mobile app here.
2.  Enter the domain: suggarresearch to go to the Homepage.
3.  Then login with your email and password to access our course on your mobile device.
The online program’s development was funded through the Queensland Government’s Queensland Reef Water Quality Program and SRA.The online course offers a comprehensive training program that covers everything from soil testing to fertiliser application and management. It is designed to help sugarcane growers achieve the best possible yields and reduce nutrient losses. The course is structured in six easy-to-follow steps, with each step building on the previous one to provide a complete understanding of sugarcane nutrient management.

Don't just take our word for it – here's what Bundaberg CANEGROWERS' Director, Michael Cavallaro, had to say about the course:

"The Six Easy Steps Nutrient Management short online course is an excellent self-paced resource for sugarcane growers at all levels of knowledge. It provides a clear and concise guide on how to interpret soil tests and develop nitrogen and phosphorus budgets for their farms. The flexibility of the course means you can complete it in one sitting or break it up over time. Additionally, the course provides some valuable reference materials for growers. I strongly recommend this course to all sugarcane growers in the region."

If you are interested in participating in a Six Easy Steps workshop, please contact the office on 4151 2555.


CANEGROWERS Insurance Scheme  - owned by growers, working for growers, was commenced in 2012 to look after growers’ insurance needs. Wide Bay Authorised Representative Ray Goodwin has extensive experience in looking after the insurance needs of the rural sector and has assisted many growers to ensure that their insurance cover is tailored to their requirements.

Ray provides a personalised on-farm service to growers, primarily servicing CGU’s Canepol insurance policies. He also has access to a broad range of other insurance products and alternative underwriters so that appropriate insurance cover can be obtained for all aspects of a clients businesses at the best price.

To contact Ray to discuss your insurance needs call 4151 2555 or on mobile on 0418 891 783.


Our Mission is to provide representation, leadership and services and promote unity in the interest of growers.

Our Goals are to provide an effective and efficient service through a focus on growers' key concerns within a changing environment. To maximise grower and industry proceeds by marketing current and future sugar production through a structure that is transparent and accountable to the industry. To ensure that industry growth is managed and market driven within a sustainable sugar industry. To ensure environmentally and financially sustainable production through managing and coordinating inputs and resources.

Our Vision is to ensure a secure and profitable future for Bundaberg cane growers.