NSW Labor Leader Mr Luke Foley visited the Harwood Sugar Mill this week.
Mr Foley met with Sunshine Sugar Chief Executive Officer Mr Chris Connors and was briefed on the unique structure of the NSW sugar industry and the economic importance of the industry to the Northern Rivers in terms of both jobs and financial input. Mr Connors also shared an update on business projects such as cane juice supply and development of a distillery.
Mr Foley used this meeting to reiterate his staunch opposition to a sugar tax. His views were supported by Mr Walt Secord, Shadow Minister for both Health and the North Coast; who sited not just jobs as a reason to oppose the tax, but also that international research has proven that a sugar tax is ineffective in changing dietary behaviour. It was agreed that a sugar tax would hurt the farming and milling communities the most and result in loss of regional industry.
In an interview with NBN, Mr Foley remarked on the impressive characteristics of sugar cane juice as a health product and the sustainability of sugar cane being a readily renewable food and fuel source.
Sugar is a natural and renewable product that provides essential nutrients when consumed at recommended amounts as part of an overall healthy food and exercise routine.