Bill to ‘bal­ance’ millers, cane­grow­ers’ in­ter­ests

Isis Town and Country - - Kolan News -

THE LNP has fought to strengthen the Queens­land sugar in­dus­try with the re­lease of a new draft bill.

Mem­ber for Bur­nett Stephen Ben­nett wel­comed the new pro­posed Sugar In­dus­try bill and com­mended shadow min­is­ter Deb Freck­ling­ton for work­ing closely with pro­duc­ers and millers. “We recog­nise the in­dus­try needs to move for­ward in a co-op­er­a­tive en­vi­ron­ment, while mak­ing dereg­u­la­tion work in a co-op­er­a­tive en­vi­ron­ment, and we be­lieve this bill goes a long way to achiev­ing this,” Mr Ben­nett said.

“The LNP has worked hard to find a work­able so­lu­tion which pre­serves the in­ter­ests of cane­grow­ers in raw sugar, with­out im­pos­ing a trans­fer of own­er­ship which is a con­cern of the millers.”

Ms Freck­ling­ton and Mr Ben­nett en­cour­aged the lo­cal com­mu­nity to have its say on the pro­posed bill.

“The LNP has al­ways recog­nised the value of the sugar in­dus­try to the state’s econ­omy and we would like Queens­lan­ders to con­sider this re­form to help strengthen this vi­tal in­dus­try,” Ms Freck­ling­ton said. “This ex­po­sure draft aims to achieve a work­able so­lu­tion to the sugar mo­nop­oly threat­en­ing re­gional grow­ers by pre­serv­ing their in­ter­ests, but with­out im­pos­ing a trans­fer of own­er­ship, strength­en­ing the rights and fu­tures of cane farm­ers,” she said.

Ms Freck­ling­ton added that, in con­trast to the Kat­ter bill cur­rently be­fore the Par­lia­ment, the LNP bill achieved the fol­low­ing:

Avoided ex­pro­pri­a­tion of prop­erty rights which was a con­cern to sugar millers;

Main­tained a ref­er­ence to cane sup­ply agree­ments where grow­ers’ eco­nomic in­ter­est was to be recog­nised;

Did not pro­vide for pre-con­trac­tual ar­bi­tra­tion, but rather in­cluded a mech­a­nism for dis­pute res­o­lu­tion if re­quired; and

Al­lowed grow­ers the choice of who mar­kets their sugar through the cane sup­ply agree­ment.

“The con­tent of the bill has ben­e­fited from the con­sul­ta­tion as part of the Se­nate in­quiry and the work of the sugar mar­ket­ing task­force.”

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