[Altnews] 'Imported Malayasian Sugar'
Queensland Independent Senate Team
Prime Minister Howard's recently announced and much touted 'sugar package' to assist hard-pressed cane farmers, still failed to address the real and immediate problem of low returns to farmers.
Friday, 14 May 2004
To add insult to injury, Mr Howard's government has permitted the importation of refined white sugar from Malaysia, which is currently being marketed in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.
In Queensland, refined white sugar produced from Queensland grown sugarcane currently sells in major food supermarkets for approx. $1.60 kilo.
The imported refined white sugar from Malaysia is being marketed to Australian grocers for .55 cents a kilo.
How on earth can Mr Howard expect Australia's cane growers to compete with imported Malaysian sugar, which is being discounted by 65% against local sugar?
Instead of the now 'Clayton's' sugar package, common sense should have prevailed with $200 million being allocated over 3 years to subsidised farmers tonnage payments, with an equivalent amount spent on establishing value-added sugar cane by-products facilities to kick in when the subsidy period expired.
Perhaps Mr Howard can justify committing over $440 million taxpayer dollars to decimate local growers while allowing imported Malaysian sugar to be dumped into an already inequitable market?
Candidate and Team Leader
QUEENSLAND INDEPENDENT SENATE TEAM
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