The Summit on Sugar, convened by Dr Mark McGovern from the Queensland University of Technology, was held at QUT on January 29 2003.
The aim of the meeting was to bring together academic analysts of the sugar industry with those directly affected by a “level-playing field” policy being pursued by the Federal and State governments.
Drawing on statistical and historical data, Dr McGovern, and Professors Ted Kolsen and Rod Jensen of the University of Queensland’s Economics Faculty, were able to identify flaws in the governments’ approach.
According to Professor Kolsen:
“As is the case with the entire commercial world, it is well-known that everything could be done better. The sugar industry is no exception. What is required is to know how to do better. So far there is no clear set of changes which will unambiguously, or even probably, ensure that the industry will do better”
Carole Mackee from Ingham, Errol Zumker of Bundaberg, and Ross Walker of the Australian Cane Farmers Association testified to the deleterious impact of the government approach and their fears for the future viability of the industry.