Home / Media Releases / Reef Credits Scheme a missed opportunity to promote a balanced approach to sustainability | 13 May 2024

Reef Credits Scheme a missed opportunity to promote a balanced approach to sustainability | 13 May 2024

The Australian Sugar Milling Council, the peak body for Australia’s sugar manufacturers, is calling for changes to the proposed Reef Credits Scheme (the ‘Scheme’) that will deliver improved environmental outcomes and the ongoing prosperity of the State’s sugar regions.

Currently under review, the Scheme provides payments to cane growers and land managers who contribute to lower nitrogen run-off in Reef catchment areas, maintaining the ongoing health of the Reef eco-system.

“We need to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. The aim should be to promote a reduction in nitrogen run-off through incentivising better uptake of nitrogen in the sugarcane crop, not encouraging practices that will reduce sugarcane yields – this would be a perverse outcome”, said ASMC CEO, Ash Salardini

The industry has developed world leading practices and certification processes, including SmartCane BMP and Six Easy Steps (6ES), to deliver sustainable improvements to nitrogen use efficiency. These initiatives should form the basis of any approach to managing nitrogen in the Reef.

“Sugar provides the economic and employment foundations of many of Queensland’s regional communities, so we must take complementary approaches to these communities that maximise environmental and economic outcomes.”

The ASMC submission to Eco-Markets Australia, the body responsible for administering the Scheme, seeks a broadening of the Scheme’s objectives to include environmental, economic and social objectives as well as greater integration of broader complementary industry approaches.  The full ASMC submission can be found here.

Click Here for a pdf of this media release.

Media contact: Jim Crane – Mobile 0400 991 931 – Director, Industry and Government Affairs

About us: The Australian Sugar Milling Council is the peak industry body for the Australian sugar manufacturing sector – contributing $4.4 billion p.a. to the Australian economy and supporting more than 20,000 jobs. The ASMC works with members, industry stakeholders and government to develop and promote policies that enhance the sustainability, viability and economic contribution of the sugar industry in Australia.