ANNOUNCED AS TEMPORARYNo
FDI: Entry and ownership rule
On 2 December 2015, the Queensland parliament passed the Sugar Industry Amendment Bill 2015, reregulating the sugar cane industry.
The bill changes the legal rights for sugar mills to own the sugar they produce and reintroduces pre-arbitration between the cane producers and the mills. It needs to be pointed out that over the last few years the sugar milling industry was consolidated by three foreign companies (over two thirds of the market): Singapore's Wilmar International, Thailand's Mitr Pohl Sugar and China's COFCO Corporation.
Queensland's sugar industry represents 95% of the sugar production of Australia and is the state's second largest manufacturing industry. The state's Minister for Agriculture who opposed the bill said in his reaction: "Foreign investors have come in and invested in a deregulated industry and now the Parliament has turned around and re-regulated that industry and significantly degraded their ownership rights (...) Anyone with any common sense would see these legislative changes will send the wrong message to those countries we have signed free trade agreements with. (...) This LNP legislation sends out the wrong message to foreign investors".
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