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The discovery of sugarcane smut in one Queensland cane region, in June 2006, triggered a clear-cut biosecurity response aimed at containment and eradication. Farm financial analyses helped to set the incentives offered to canegrowers to gain their cooperation in the eradication effort financed by the Queensland and Australian governments. Eradication was abandoned when the smut became endemic in November 2006, and the disease management that took its place was now entirely Queensland's responsibility. A number of conflicting stakeholder objectives had to be reconciled by the Queensland government in determining the type and extent of industry assistance. An independent inquiry was called to consider the scientific, production, economic and social aspects of the problem. Economic modelling of farmer decisions, farm economics analyses and regional adaptation scenarios were carried out. The results indicated that government largesse would not actually contribute to industry's adjusting to the endemic disease. Instead, a smaller but targeted contribution to plant breeding was offered. The industry cooperated with the process and accepted the outcomes.


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