Cane Changer Provides Growers With Support

Cane Changer Provides Growers With Support

Queensland Minister for the Great Barrier Reef Steven Miles

Palaszczuk Govt Project To Help Wet Tropics Cane Growers Manage Their Land

Victor P Taffa

A behavioural psychologist will team up with canegrowers to foster widespread change across the industry that will lead to better outcomes for the Great Barrier Reef.


Minister for the Great Barrier Reef Dr. Steven Miles said today in Cairns that the Palaszczuk Government funded project, dubbed ‘Cane Changer’, was being delivered in partnership with CANEGROWERS and human behaviour experts, Behaviour Innovation.

Dr. Miles said the project will be rolled out across Wet Tropics cane fields over the next two years.

“Cane Changer draws on the expertise of Dr. John Pickering, a behavioural scientist who has worked in partnership with the cane industry to develop the project from the ground up.” Dr. Miles said.

“Dr. Pickering is the Chief Executive Officer of Behaviour Innovation who, together with his team of behavioural scientists, brings forward over a decade of experience in designing, delivering and evaluating behavioural change programs.”

“From the outset, the program aimed to understand the day-to-day challenges facing our cane farmers and to value their role as custodians of the land and their ongoing efforts to adopt farming practices that help protect the Great Barrier Reef.” Dr. Miles said.

Cane Changer is one of the first projects of its kind that has been fully co-designed by the cane growing community of Queensland. The project will also involve the wider cane growing community and success will be determined by the extent to which the industry leads and owns the change process. 

“The project was designed in Queensland, for Queensland cane growers, and really is about protecting the long-term viability of one of our most important agricultural industries and our wonderful reef.” Dr. Pickering said.

“What’s sometimes overlooked is that the Queensland sugarcane industry is one of the most innovative and progressive cane industries in the world.”


QLD Minister for Great Barrier Reef Steven Miles

QLD Great Barrier Reef

Queensland Great Barrier Reef










“There is enormous potential for further innovation within the industry, especially in terms of accelerating the adoption of practices that simultaneously improve industry productivity and any associated environmental outcomes.”

Cane Changer will focus on various priority areas, including peer-to-peer mentoring; promotion of good news stories of positive farming practice change; developing monitoring tools and record keeping for cane farmers; establishing a ‘Women in Cane” working group; and the establishment of an innovation hub and network that rewards growers for testing and/or adopting new practices and encourages them to share their knowledge.

CANEGROWERS Chief Executive Officer Mr. Dan Galligan said the organisation will partner with Behaviour Innovation and the Queensland Government on the program.

“We’re excited by the possibilities that Cane Changer offers and the opportunity to showcase some of the fantastic work of our local growers who are doing the right thing by their farm and the land.” Mr. Galligan said.