House of Representatives Committees

| House of Representatives House Standing Committee on Agriculture, Resources, Fisheries and Forestry

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Preliminary Pages


 I welcome the opportunity for the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Agriculture, Resources, Fisheries and Forestry to provide an advisory report to the House on the Wheat Export Marketing Amendment Bill 2012, which seeks to fully deregulate Australia’s wheat industry.

A range of views were put forward on the Bill, including concerns that wheat quality and access to supply chain infrastructure would be compromised. 

However, there is no clear link between current arrangements and quality assurance. In reality, quality will be more likely assured through market competitiveness, not export accreditation rules.  Industry should manage quality and, in fact, the current law reflects this situation.

The Bill will not abolish the ‘access test’ unless a sufficient voluntary industry code of conduct has been agreed and approved by the Minister.  Further, market power over infrastructure will gradually dilute over time as new operators enter the market and competition increases.

Numerous concerns about the implementation of the Bill were considered by the Committee, and the Committee has made a number of recommendations regarding wheat industry issues more generally.

The Committee has recommended the Bill be passed. 

The wheat industry has a great potential for growth, and I look forward to seeing the reforms in this Bill assist in achieving this growth.


Hon Dick Adams MP



Membership of the committee



Hon Dick Adams MP


Deputy Chair

Mr Alby Schultz MP



Mr Darren Cheeseman MP

Mr George Christensen MP


Mr Tony Crook MP
(supplementary member)

Mr Geoff Lyons MP


Mr Rob Mitchell MP

Mr Dan Tehan MP


Committee Secretariat



Mr David Brunoro

Inquiry Secretary

Research Officer

Mr Thomas Gregory

Mr Nathan Fewkes

Office Manager

Administrative Officer

Mrs Dorota Cooley

Ms Louise Goss

List of abbreviations


Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences


Australian Bureau of Statistics


Australian Grain Exporters Association


Australian Competition and Consumer Commission


Wheat grade  - Australian Premium White


Wheat grade  - Australian Standard White


Australian Securities Exchange


Australian Wheat Board

    Bill, the

Wheat Export Marketing Amendment Bill 2012


bulk handling company


Code of Conduct Development Committee


Canadian Wheat Board


Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry


Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration


Grain Producers Australia


Grain Trade Australia

    The Minister

Minister for Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry


New South Wales Farmers Association


Productivity Commission


Victorian Farmers Federation


Western Australian Farmers Federation


Wheat Export Australia


Wheat Export Charge


Wheat Quality Australia






List of recommendations

3     Issues raised in evidence

Recommendation 1

The Committee recommends that the Australian Government work with industry to overcome the uncertainty around Wheat Quality Australia and Grain Trade Australia to develop a single industry-funded entity to deliver industry services in the areas of quality, standards and stock information. The Australian Government and Industry should aim to have the entity in place by October 2014, when full deregulation occurs.

Recommendation 2

To allay grower concern as to how the voluntary code of conduct will be monitored, the Committee recommends that the Australian Government consider appointing for a five year period an industry-funded “Grains Industry Ombudsman”.

Recommendation 3

The Committee recommends that, to improve the efficiency of the wheat export market, the Australian Government actively encourage and support the wheat industry in its efforts to improve wheat stocks information sharing, possibly by allocating funding from the proposed Wheat Industry Special Account to develop an industry mechanism, as part of the newly created industry-funded entity.

Recommendation 4

The Committee recommends that the House pass the Wheat Export Marketing Amendment Bill 2012.


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