Sugar in­dus­try in­ves­ti­ga­tion

Isis Town and Country - - News -

REP­RE­SEN­TA­TIVES from across the sugar in­dus­try will soon be in­vited to have their say on the sec­tor’s mar­ket­ing and com­pe­ti­tion chal­lenges fol­low­ing the ap­proval of a State Govern­ment in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter John McVeigh said the terms of ref­er­ence for the Agri­cul­tural Cabi­net Com­mit­tee in­quiry had been set and the com­mit­tee would be­gin work shortly.

“There will be hear­ings over the com­ing months, and my de­part­ment will soon be con­tact­ing the par­ties con­cerned re­gard­ing the ar­range­ments, in­clud­ing their hear­ing date,” Mr McVeigh said.

“The re­cent de­ci­sion by for­eign-owned millers Wil­mar, MSF and Tully to mar­ket their own sugar goes against long-held grower pref­er­ences for Queens­land Sugar Ltd to mar­ket lo­cally pro­duced sugar.

“I want to en­sure the in­dus­try has in­put into this in­ves­ti­ga­tion, en­abling the govern­ment to con­sider what is best for the whole in­dus­try.”

The cur­rent ar­range­ments with Queens­land Sugar Ltd will re­main un­til the end of the 2016 sea­son.

The Aus­tralian Sugar Milling Coun­cil and its mem­bers, Cane­grow­ers, ACFA and the Bur­dekin District Cane­grow­ers As­so­ci­a­tion, will be in­vited to ad­dress the in­quiry.

Mr McVeigh said he was also seek­ing to en­list the sup­port of the Fed­eral Govern­ment and was urg­ing it to pur­sue the mat­ter un­der the Fed­eral Com­pe­ti­tion and Con­sumer Act.

“Whilst we are con­duct­ing our own in­ves­ti­ga­tions and calling upon the Fed­eral Govern­ment to do the same, I am con­tin­u­ing to call on all sec­tors of the in­dus­try to show stronger lead­er­ship and pur­sue com­mer­cial so­lu­tions to the im­passe.”

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