RGA Establishes Queensland Branch

15 May 2015 1:53 PM -

The Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia (RGA) today launched an interim Queensland branch of the Association to support Queensland farmers and solidify years of commitment and investment by SunRice to establish a strong rice growing base throughout the State.

RGA’s Executive Director Dean Logan said, "After many years of hard work and commitment we decided late yesterday, and in consultation with cane farmers, that it was in the best interests of future rice growers to establish an interim Queensland branch to support expansion."

SunRice has been investing heavily in Queensland over a number of years to ascertain the long-term viability of growing rice as a complimentary crop to sugar cane. That work has now culminated in the purchase of a stand-alone mill in the Burdekin, a raft of successful trials and keen interest from cane farmers to grow rice as a rotational crop.

Mr Logan continued, "The Queensland branch will support growers as they expand their foot print with rice. Key elements relating to the establishment of the branch are as follows: 

  • The RGA interim branch focusses specifically on rice and the support of rice growers.
  • The branch will provide a complimentary function to existing cane specific representative bodies by working collectively on policy issues deemed to be of mutual interest.
  • The RGA Queensland branch will – once elections are complete – be controlled by Queensland growers in the interests of rice growers.
  • Given the high level of interest in growing rice we anticipate that the interim branch will evolve into a fully fledged Queensland branch within six months.
  • The branch will not be separate from the RGA’s national structure but sit under the existing unified model of representation and corporate governance for all rice related issues in Australia.
  • North Queensland farmers looking to grow rice with SunRice will be encouraged to send the RGA’s national office an email expressing their intention to be involved with the interim branch.
  • Membership of the branch for the first six months will be free.

Mr Logan continued, "By any measure the RGA is one of the most unified peak agricultural representative organisations in Australia. Our ability to deliver outcomes for growers is well known and our relationship with SunRice – who take our members product and export it around the world - is unparalleled.

"Farmers are encouraged to call the RGA office or email us at rga@rga.org.au to express an interest in being involved.

"These are exciting times for Australian agriculture as the rice industry expands in Queensland with a product and brand sought after around the world", said Mr Logan.  

Download full statement here.