On 20 September 2012, the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator the Hon. Joe Ludwig received a formal proposal from the Australian Sugar Industry Alliance (ASA) to restructure research and development arrangements for the sugar industry.
Under the reforms, the Sugar Research and Development Corporation and BSES Limited will be wound-up and their assets and R&D functions, along with the research coordination activities of Sugar Research Limited, transferred to the industry owned company, Sugar Research Australia Limited (SRA).
The proposal was subject to a formal six week objection period after receipt by government, as required under the Australian Government’s Levy Principles and Guidelines. This period ended on 1 November 2012.
After considering the ASA proposal, other options, the formal objections and other representations on the issue, the government decided that, on balance, the proposal represents the best mechanism for long-term delivery of research and development to the sugar industry. Industry also demonstrated strong support through a poll of all potential levy paying businesses run by the Australian Electoral Commission in August/September 2012.
The Sugar Research and Development Services Act 2013, the Sugar Research and development Services (Consequential Amendments-Excise) Act 2013 and the Sugar Research and Development Services (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Act 2013 provide the mechanism to implement key elements of the reforms. These bills were introduced into parliament on 5 June 2013. This legislation was passed through parliament on 28 June 2013 and received royal assent on 29 June 2013.
For further details on SRA please visit their website.