Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard   

Previous Fragment    
Monday, 22 April 1985
Page: 1348

Senator Button —On 19 March 1985 (Hansard, page 383) Senator Boswell asked me, in my capacity as Leader of the Government in the Senate, a question without notice concerning the provision of assistance to the sugar industry. The Minister for Primary Industry has supplied the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

Across the board assistance to cane growers, such as the provision of a floor price of $240 per tonne, has been rejected by the Government. While the high cost is one problem, estimated in excess of $80m in a full year, there is also the concern that such assistance would not get to the heart of the industry's current problems, nor get the right kind of assistance to growers most in need.

Nevertheless, the Government is committed to the continuation of an efficient and viable sugar industry and is aware that something needs to be done urgently about the current position of millers and growers.

The Prime Minister and the Queensland Premier met in Canberra on 1 April and agreed that a working party consisting of Commonwealth, Queensland and sugar industry officials be established to report to both Governments within 100 days on a Plan to assist the industry's return to profitability.

For the first time ever, the combined resources of the Federal and Queensland Governments and the industry will be applied in a concerted attack on industry problems. This is an encouraging outcome and the Government remains confident of a very constructive result for the industry.