Foley sweet on sugar
Opposition leader defends sugar industry in a visit to Harwood mill
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.