Sugar sweetens economic contribution to Queensland

Sugar

Sugar manufacturing has delivered a sweet contribution to the Queensland economy with a $2.3 billion direct spending injection in 2020/21. 

A new report prepared for the Australian Sugar Milling Council shows sugar manufacturing also directly employed more than 3,700 Queenslanders. 

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and minister for Rural Communities, Mark Furner, said the industry was an important part of the agricultural landscape of the state. 

“Queensland has a great sugar producing reputation that is known across the globe, and that reputation has been hard-won by those who drive the industry year in, year out,” Furner said. 

“With more than 1,300 jobs in North Queensland, more than 1,000 in the Mackay region, more than 760 in Far North Queensland and 590 in the Wide Bay-Burnett region, sugar continues to play a key role in our regional economies.” 

The direct economic impact included: 

  • $1.3 billion in cane purchases from more than 3150 enterprises; 
  • $565.6 million in purchases of goods and services from local businesses; and 
  • $336.7 million in salaries and wages. 

The report found that when the broader economic impact was considered, the industry was responsible for a further $1.5 billion in economic activity. 

“$3.8 billion in economic activity is nothing to sneeze at, and I expect the industry will enjoy another bumper year when we see updated figures for 2021/22,” Furner said. “That means thousands of jobs and export dollars for our state.” 

Australian Sugar Milling Council chief executive officer, Rachele Sheard, said the report demonstrated the resilience of the sugar industry and the enormous contribution it made to the Queensland economy and to thousands of Queensland families. 

“The sugar industry has continued to deliver a positive economic contribution and job certainty amid a global pandemic and challenging international trading and growing conditions,” Sheard said. 

“The sugar industry’s contribution of $3.8 billion to the Queensland economy is equivalent to a $10 million injection every day. The report shows the economic contribution of the sugar industry extends throughout the regions and into south-east Queensland. The industry works with and supports more than 3,000 local businesses across the state.” 

To view the report, click here.