Australia’s sugar production could be significantly boosted to increase jobs, generate better economic outcomes, and produce cleaner energy if government red tape was reduced.
That’s the view of the Australian Sugar Milling Council (ASMC) which has presented a comprehensive case to the Queensland Government for reducing regulatory overload to support the sugar industry’s revitalisation.
“Over the past 15 years the sugar industry has been subject to significant policy uncertainty and additional regulation and charges from a range of agencies and government-owned corporations, and that has resulted in regulatory overload,” said ASMC Director, Economics, Policy and Trade Mr David Rynne.
In ASMC’s Sugar Policy Insights issued this week, Mr Rynne revealed that the sugar industry’s revitalisation was based on three key pillars:
- Increase sugarcane and sugar yields, decreasing operational costs.
- Increase, or at least maintain the area where sugarcane is grown.
- Increase revenues from complementary, diversified, value-added products.
“ASMC’s analysis of government regulatory interventions and cost impositions on the sugar industry make a compelling argument that cumulatively, domestic regulation is stalling industry revitalisation and a more sustainable future for the regional communities it supports,” Mr Rynne wrote.
He said the industry was committed to supporting the Queensland Government’s red-tape reduction ambitions, recently demonstrated by the establishment of the Office of Productivity and Red Tape reduction within Queensland Treasury, and the Queensland Productivity Commission’s publication of its Improving Regulation research paper.
“Revitalising the sugar industry will involve working closely with government departments across eight key areas including water and energy charges, access to capital, self-regulation incentives, improved land protections in state planning policy, revenue diversification incentives, better understanding the industry’s viability, and ensuring access to human capital,” he said.
“It is vital government and industry develop a shared understanding of the regulatory overload problem that exists, so we can jointly develop reform that sets a more progressive and positive agenda going forward,” he said.
To read ASMC’s Regulation Overload paper see here.
To read ASMC’s submission to the QPC’s Improving Regulation research paper see here.
To read ASMC’s Sugar Policy Insights see here
For more information, please contact Gareth Quinn, 0417 711 108
Sugar is Australia’s second largest export crop, after wheat, with a total annual revenue of almost $2 billion. Around 95% of sugar produced in Australia is grown in Queensland with the remainder in northern New South Wales. Australia exports more than 80% of its raw sugar to buyers overseas, placing it among the top four raw sugar exporters in the world.
ASMC is the peak body representing the interests of raw sugar manufacturers and marketers. ASMC represents five sugar manufacturing companies which collectively produce 90 percent of Australia’s raw sugar at their 16 sugar mills in Queensland.
Click here for a PDF of this media release.