Changing rural spaces: deregulation and the decline of tobacco farming in the Mareeba-Dimbulah Irrigation Area, Far North Queensland

Griggs, Peter (2002) Changing rural spaces: deregulation and the decline of tobacco farming in the Mareeba-Dimbulah Irrigation Area, Far North Queensland. Australian Geographer, 33 (1). pp. 43-61.

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Abstract

The growing of tobacco was one of the most tightly regulated industries in Australia, until deregulation in 1995. Commonwealth regulations controlled the area cultivated with tobacco, the number of growers (ie quota holders) and marketing arrangements for tobacco leaf. This paper begins by outlining the nature and historical development of controls in the tobacco growing industry, and discusses how the Commonwealth government removed the industry’s regulatory and protective framework in 1995. The third part of the paper examines how deregulation has impacted upon the Mareeba-Dimbulah Irrigation Area, Far North Queensland, where small farmers produced sixty per cent of Australia’s tobacco in 1995. The discussion will show that the agricultural landscape once dominated by tobacco has been transformed, as local farmers abandoned growing tobacco in favour of sugar cane, avocadoes, mangoes, macadamia nuts and other small vegetable crops (eg navy beans, pumpkins). Tobacco, once promoted by the Queensland government as a crop to facilitate closer settlement in the Mareeba-Dimbulah Irrigation Area, will have almost vanished from the landscape by 2002.

Item ID: 291
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1465-3311
Keywords: deregulation, tobacco, Mareeba-Dimbulah Irriggation Area, mixed horticulture, sugar cane, avocadoes, irrigation, agriculture, tobacco industry stabilisation plan
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2006
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0703 Crop and Pasture Production > 070302 Agronomy @ 51%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070199 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management not elsewhere classified @ 49%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9699 Other Environment > 969999 Environment not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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