The Australian Sugar Milling Council says the Queensland Government’s delivery on its election commitment of a 15% reduction in irrigation water charges will deliver a boost to sugar industry confidence.
ASMC Chief Executive Officer David Pietsch said the decision to reduce irrigation water charges would provide an estimated $100 million boost to the sugar industry and the Queensland economy.
“This reduction reverses a decades-long trend of increased regulated water charges. This will make water more affordable for the two-thirds of the state’s cane growers who rely on irrigation,” Mr Pietsch said.
“More affordable water provides growers with greater incentive to take full advantage of their water allocations.”
“The Queensland sugar industry generates more than $4 billion in economic activity in Queensland each year and supports more than 23,000 jobs, so this is an important development for our industry and our State.”
Mr Pietsch said ASMC calculations  estimated that a 15% cut in water prices would generate around $132 million in additional economic activity over four years, or around $100 million over the three years from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2024.
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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.