Fo­ley sweet on sugar

Op­po­si­tion leader de­fends sugar in­dus­try in a visit to Har­wood mill

The Daily Examiner - - NEWS -

IN A visit to the North Coast last week, NSW La­bor leader Luke Fo­ley vis­ited the Har­wood Sugar Mill to meet with Sun­shine Sugar chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Chris Con­nors.

Mr Fo­ley was briefed on the unique struc­ture of the NSW sugar in­dus­try and the eco­nomic im­por­tance of the in­dus­try to the North­ern Rivers in terms of both jobs and fi­nan­cial in­put.

Mr Con­nors also shared with his vis­i­tor an up­date on busi­ness projects such as cane juice sup­ply and de­vel­op­ment of a dis­tillery.

Mr Fo­ley used the meet­ing to re­it­er­ate his staunch op­po­si­tion to a sugar tax.

His views were sup­ported by Walt Secord, Shadow Min­is­ter for both Health and the North Coast, who cited jobs as a rea­son to op­pose the tax, but also that in­ter­na­tional re­search had proven that a sugar tax was in­ef­fec­tive in chang­ing di­etary be­hav­iour.

It was agreed that a sugar tax would hurt the farm­ing and milling com­mu­ni­ties the most and re­sult in loss of re­gional in­dus­try.

In an in­ter­view with me­dia on site, Mr Fo­ley re­marked on the im­pres­sive char­ac­ter­is­tics of sugar cane juice as a health prod­uct and the sus­tain­abil­ity of sugar cane be­ing a read­ily re­new­able food and fuel source.

The Har­wood Sugar Mill sup­plies nearly 20% of sugar to the do­mes­tic mar­ket.

It is in the process of build­ing an $8.2m up­grade to its goods ware­house and also of con­struct­ing a new 300-tonne silo.

BRIEF­ING: Shadow Min­is­ter Walt Secord, op­po­si­tion leader Luke Fo­ley, Sun­shine Sugar CEO Chris Con­nors and chair­man of NSW Cane Grow­ers As­so­ci­a­tion Ross Far­low at the Har­wood mill.

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