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Explainer: Queensland's sugar marketing dispute and why it is giving the National Party a headache

The ABC's Marty McCarthy reports (28.2.17) on the political ramifications of a sugar industry dispute in north Queensland, which has the state's LNP and the federal National Party under pressure to act on behalf of cane growers.

'Cane farmers in Queensland concerned about a payment dispute have rattled the chains so loudly the issue has reached the halls of Parliament House in Canberra.

'The sensitive topic is proving difficult for the Liberal-National Party, including for Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce who needs a good outcome to appease the party's traditional support base.

'The dispute, between cane farmers and a Singaporean-owned sugar milling company, has also raised concerns about foreign investment in Australia's agriculture sector.

'... The National Party has a stranglehold on so called 'sugar seats' in Queensland, and a failure to get a good outcome for growers puts those seats at risk.

'With the rising threat of One Nation, National Party MPs are nervously trying to fend off an outcome that could upset their traditional support base.'


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