Emily Smith, 11 December 2015

Yesterday Thailand’s Mitr Phol, owner of MSF Sugar, said they would allocate planned future investments to other countries and Sarina’s Plane Creek mill owner Wilmar refused to sign agreements for next year’s crop.

The sugar marketing bill was passed to ensure growers choice in how their sugar was marketed.

But Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said the scenario underpinned state government’s reluctance to the bill in the first place.

She also believed the bill would undermine the ground gained by the 3% ethanol mandate, which was also passed through parliament last week.

“In parliament last week there was a very exciting bill passed with the mandate of 3% of ethanol fuel. There was a lot of buzz,” Mrs Gilbert said.

“And then we have, the following day, the sugar bill passed where the guarantees for the companies developing the ethanol industry have suddenly (been) lost around the ownership of the product.

“A better outcome for farmers and millers would have been a commercial agreement where they look at the industry as a whole.”

She said in Maryborough Mitr Phol had been looking at building ethanol infrastructure which would have led to 2000 jobs.

Those jobs had disappeared with their investment withdrawal.

Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen urged mills to “stop throwing temper tantrums and get on with business”.

He argued almost nothing would change in the way mills operated.

“Prior to the passing of the bill in State Parliament, sugar was marketed through Queensland Sugar Limited or the mills,” Mr Christensen said.

“After the passing of this bill, sugar will be marketed through QSL or the mills.

“Effectively nothing has changed.

Extracted in full from the Daily Mercury.