House of Representatives Committees

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

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Preliminary Pages

Foreword

 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

Chair

 


Membership of the committee

 

Chair

Hon Dick Adams MP

 

Deputy Chair

Mr Alby Schultz MP

 

Members

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

 

Secretary

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

    ABARES

Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences

    ABS

Australian Bureau of Statistics

    AGEA

Australian Grain Exporters Association

    ACCC

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

    APW

Wheat grade  - Australian Premium White

    ASW

Wheat grade  - Australian Standard White

    ASX

Australian Securities Exchange

    AWB

Australian Wheat Board

    Bill, the

Wheat Export Marketing Amendment Bill 2012

    BHC

bulk handling company

    CDC

Code of Conduct Development Committee

    CWB

Canadian Wheat Board

    DAFF

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

    GIPSA

Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration

    GPA

Grain Producers Australia

    GTA

Grain Trade Australia

    The Minister

Minister for Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry

    NSWFA

New South Wales Farmers Association

    PC

Productivity Commission

    VFF

Victorian Farmers Federation

    WAFF

Western Australian Farmers Federation

    WEA

Wheat Export Australia

    WEC

Wheat Export Charge

    WQA

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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