SUGAR TAX: The Member for Dawson says a sugar tax will not reduce the nation's consumption.
SUGAR TAX: The Member for Dawson says a sugar tax will not reduce the nation's consumption.

Sugar tax inevitable hit to region's canefarmers

IN THE wake of a Four Corners program advocating for a national sugar tax, George Christensen has dared sugar tax advocates to slap a $5 levy on a single can of Coke - if they are serious about reducing the amount of sugar consumed.

It's the Member for Dawson's provocative way of saying that current suggestions around a sugar tax will do nothing to reduce consumption, and will only hurt cane growers.

Manager of Proserpine Canegrowers Mike Porter believed the tax was inevitable.

"Once we have a balanced strategy, (a tax) could form part of a national strategy,” he said.

Though only 20per cent of Australian sugar is consumed locally, Mr Porter said any sugar tax would affect the sugar cane industry.

"It's not going to make a huge difference to a grower's bottom line as it is a consumption tax,” he said.

"(However) where we have some issues is the effect on the level of consumption and the importance of our product and the margins within our business.

"Yes it will affect cane farmers and we certainly don't want to see it, but as food manufacturers place higher obstacles on the use of sugar, demand may decrease,” Mr Porter said.

On the allegations the Australian Beverages Council had made donations to the LNP and Labor in exchange for keeping a proposed sugar tax off the agenda, Mr Porter said Canegrowers made no such donations.