Industry review tops cropping election wishlist

Industry review tops cropping election wishlist


Politics
Given it has been over a decade since deregulation of the wheat industry and there are still legacy issues, Grain Producers Australia believe it is high time the government held a review into the sector.

Given it has been over a decade since deregulation of the wheat industry and there are still legacy issues, Grain Producers Australia believe it is high time the government held a review into the sector.

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An industry-wide review into the state of the grains sector tops the election wishlist for farmer lobby group Grain Producers Australia.

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THE GRAINS sector has not exactly been front and centre in an election campaign fought on issues such as wages and negative gearing, however a major grain growing lobby group is pushing hard to ensure politicians know what matters for the industry.

Grain Producers Australia has come out with an election wish list, with an industry-wide review of the grains sector and its operational structure topping the list, including looking at better market information and more transparency around sales and exports.

GPA chairman Andrew Weidemann said the time was ripe for an overhaul of the industry.

He said ten years out from deregulation of the wheat industry there were still a number of legacy issues hampering development.

"This review must focus on the mechanisms necessary to improve grower profitability and improve the competitiveness of both growers and a broad range of post-farm gate businesses," he said.

"Blocked information flow, ongoing volatility caused by lack of payment security and some of the highest storage, handling and transport costs in the world are undermining the efforts producers are making to reduce costs and increase their productivity.

Security of availability of chemical pesticides is also a priority.

Mr Weidemann said the pressure on products such as glyphosate, which has been banned in Vietnam and came within a whisker of being banned in the European Union showed Australian farmers had to continue to lobby to ensure access to crop protection products.

He said it was imperative whoever formed government stuck with the findings of the chemical regulator, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) rather than listening to calls to ban products from those without a scientific background.

He also spoke up strongly for the need for equality of funding in biosecurity, singling out flower importers for criticism.

"GPA calls for the immediate imposition of a biosecurity levy on all incoming containers to ensure a broader base for biosecurity funding.

"As the largest funding contributors to the activities of Plant Health Australia, grain farmers are rightly concerned about other plant sectors contributions under the current funding model."

"The importation of cut flowers and foliage is an area of considerable concern to GPA, due in part to the on-going high level of biosecurity non-compliance amongst flower and foliage importers.

"The federal department's own draft Pest Risk Analysis report showed that in the eighteen years between January 2000 and February 2018, there were more than 38,000 interceptions recorded - this is indefensible."

Other priority areas include searching for transformational technologies for the grains industry, fuel security and the transformation of the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) into an Industry Owned Corporation (IOC).

The story Industry review tops cropping election wishlist first appeared on Farm Online.

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