Queensland Seeks Truth On Sugar Industry Productivity Commission Report

Queensland Seeks Truth On Sugar Industry Productivity Commission Report

Queensland Minister for Agriculture Bill Byrne

Palaszczuk Government To Use FOI In Bid To Save Qld’s Sugar Industry

Victor P Taffa

Palaszczuk Government will make a Freedom of Information request to the Commonwealth to discover what the final Productivity Commission report says about regulation in the Queensland sugar industry.


“This is an extraordinary step, but it’s a bid to save our sugar industry and there is no time to lose.” Agriculture Minister Bill Byrne said.

“LNP (Liberal National Party) are threatening to introduce further regulations on an industry that has been significantly damaged by their 2015 amendments to the Sugar Industry Act. They are threatening to do this despite sugar millers warning it will ‘put the entire sugar industry at risk’.”

“Industry has real fears that these new amendments being planned by the LNP put the whole industry and the thousands of jobs it supports at risk. The Government shares those concerns.”

“Before the LNP defies the industry with its job-destroying legislation, all MP’s should know the Productivity Commission’s verdict on the impact of the 2015 amendments. Minister Byrne said.

“Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce should release the Productivity Commission report without delay.”

“We know that the draft report said that the 2015 changes were counter-productive and likely to restrict competition, innovation and productivity growth.”

“It said re-regulating the industry was also likely to constrain innovation in marketing and continue to limit the premiums available to sugarcane growers.” Minister Byrne said.

“Further it said that the costs of the Sugar Industry (Real Choice in Marketing) Amendment Act outweigh the benefits and that repealing the Act could enable consolidation and productivity gains which would enhance the international competitiveness of the sugar industry.”

“No surprise then that the draft report’s single recommendation was that the Queensland Government should repeal the amendments.”

QLD Minister for Agriculture Bill Byrne









Minister Byrne said it would an act of economic vandalism for the LNP to introduce further regulations without knowing the details of the final report.

“Productivity Commission’s final report was handed to the Federal Government on 15 November but the Turnbull Government has repeatedly refused all requests to release it.” Minister Byrne said.

“It is in the interests of everyone in the Queensland sugar industry to release the report now.”

“If they won’t release it conventionally then we have no choice but to seek those details through Freedom of Information.”

Minister Byrne said the Palaszczuk Government’s position before the legislation passed was that contracts between millers and growers should have been resolved by industry through normal commercial means.

“Our position today has not changed.” Minister Byrne said.