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Don't look, act Mr. Truss! Sugar needs assistance now.



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KERRY O’BRIEN LABOR SENATOR FOR TASMANIA SHADOW MINISTER FOR PRIMARY INDUSTRIES AND RESOURCES

44 Charles Street, P.O. Box 1193, Launceston TAS 7250 Phone (03) 6334 9366 Fax (03) 6334 9369 Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 Phone (02) 6277 3842 Fax (02) 6277 3780 Email: senator.obrien@aph.gov.au

7 June 2002.

DON’T LOOK, ACT MR. TRUSS! SUGAR NEEDS ASSISTANCE NOW.

The Howard Government must urgently consider an interim package of support to enable sugar farmers to carry on until a long-term plan is put in place.

The Howard Government has commissioned a report from an independent review of the industry by Mr. Clive Hildebrand which is due to be delivered to the Federal Agriculture Minister, Mr Truss, later this month.

The medium term future of the entire sugar industry will depend on the swift action of Mr Truss in assessing the recommendations contained in that report and putting in place the measures necessary to enable this key export industry to rebuild.

However, there are many canefarmers who cannot wait for that report to be completed, for Mr Truss to consider its recommendations, get a package of support measures through the Liberal Ministers in the Howard Cabinet and then actually get that assistance to growers.

The Minister Mr. Truss has shown yet another error of judgement by his decision to end assistance to growers in December last year rather than allow that support to carry through until the Hildebrand recommendations can be considered, and where appropriate implemented.

He has clearly put saving money for the Government ahead of continuing much needed support for canegrowers.

Mr. Truss must urgently change his thinking and provide interim assistance to canefarmers now.

For comment Kerry O’Brien 0419 007 780 or Jack Lake 0438 773 842.