The Australian cane growers association has given the cold shoulder to calls to take strike action over the government’s proposed assistance package for the sugar industry.

A number of cane growers in Queensland have expressed extreme annoyance at the package put together at federal and government level, and have threatened to withhold next year’s crop from sugar mills, reported the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Federal Independent MP Bob Katter has backed the proposal, saying growers have every right to strike, saying: “If you’re getting no pay at all, and that’s what the sugar farmers are getting, then I think it is time to strike”.

However, Cane Growers chairman Jim Pedersen says only radicals would strike. He says Katter is “trying to stir up the whole industry and try to build up growers’ hopes into issues that are completely undeliverable to growers”.