A senator’s effort to strike down a Federal Government code of conduct for the sugar industry has been defeated.
Senator David Leyonhjelm opposed a mechanism within the code allowing independent arbitration to resolve deadlocks in negotiations between growers and their collectives.
Despite the support of Labor, a disallowance motion was defeated 37 votes to 18 on Tuesday, October 17, after One Nation and the Greens sided with the government.
Then-Deputy Prime Minister and Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce said the code would guarantee growers’ choice in marketers.
‘‘The Coalition introduced the sugar code to give Australia’s canegrowers certainty that they would be able to negotiate contracts with mills and marketers in a fair environment,’’ Mr Joyce said.
‘‘The code provides for pre-contract arbitration where mill owners and marketers and canegrowers and millers cannot reach agreement.’’
Opposition agriculture spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon said the code would have a chilling effect on industry and cost jobs.
While Labor was part of the Senate inquiry that found unanimous support for a mandatory code, the party believes there was inadequate consultation.
‘‘I’d be having round-tables with all of the players,’’ Mr Fitzgibbon said.
‘‘That’s the way it should be done in sugar.’’