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Tuesday, 4 October 1983
Page: 1319

Question No. 115

Mr McVeigh asked the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice, on 11 May 1983 :

(1) Does the Government intend to provide export licences to facilitate sugar cane production on the Ord River.

(2) If not, will the sugar grown on the Ord River be sold on the domestic market only, and thereby undermine the viability of the established Australian sugar industry.

Mr Kerin —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) and (2) A firm proposal for the establishment of commercial sugar production in the Ord River region of Western Australia has not been advanced for consideration by the Commonwealth Government. I understand the Western Australian Government has chosen a consortium of companies to prepare a detailed feasibility study of a crystal sugar industry.

In the event that the Western Australian Government decides to go ahead with the project, any specific development proposal which involves foreign investment would, in the normal way, need to be submitted to the Foreign Investment Review Board. The Board would submit a report to the Government for decision and the Government would make its decision in the light of that report. Likewise, should commercial sugar production seem likely to become a reality the Commonwealth will then be required to consider questions relating to both export and domestic marketing arrangements.