Chair – Mr Gary McGill
Marsh vs Baxter Legal Case - Mr John Snooke
Grains Biosecurity - Rob Beard
Transport Infrastructure - Neville Matthews
GM Technology in Agronomy - Bill Crabtree
Policy Director – Mr Tom Lamond
The PGA represents a dedicated group of grain growers, amongst the largest and most efficient in the world and its membership continues to expand. The Western Graingrowers Committee (WGG) is committed to the establishment and maintenance of a rigorous competitive environment in all aspect of grain production and trading.
In every area of agriculture the past thirty years has seen a move away from socialised boards of control to more free and open markets. The PGA has been on the forefront of this transition, constantly and consistently championing the cause of farmers who wish to move beyond the restrictive marketing models of the past.
Ironically it has been in Western Australia’s most important agricultural export commodity – wheat - that change has been amongst the slowest.
Whilst some success has been achieved in domestic deregulation, contributing to the overall growth of the industry, grain producers need a fully competitive environment to improve the delivery of handling, transport and marketing services. Only a free, competitive environment can provide long term certainty in any industry.
We value your opinion and would welcome feedback from all grain producers on our Aims & Policy Areas for the Australian grains industry.
The Aims of the WGG are the broad principles that are the foundation our Policy positions on specific issues.
- To achieve a free and competitive market, both domestic and international, for the Australian grains industry.
- To formulate policies and initiatives designed to enhance competition and growth in the Australian grains industry.
- To communicate these policies and initiatives to State and Federal governments, along with other stakeholders in the grains industry and work towards their implementation.
- To support all areas of research & development which foster new technologies and improve grains farming systems.
WGG Policy Areas are the current touchstone issues, where the WGG is taking in active role in trying to change current market structures to the benefit of its members.
Export Monopoly Reform
Reform of the current export arrangements for wheat remains a high priority for the WGG.
In early 2005 the PGA commissioned a report by the respected consultants, ACIL Tasman, on the effect of the AWB(I) monopoly on Western Australian grain producers. Surprisingly little literature existed on the effect of the national pooling system on specific geographical regions, such as WA.
The report, Marketing Western Australian Wheat (click to download), found a significant cost burden imposed on WA growers by the export monopoly. Flowing from the report the WGG has adopted the following policy positions:
- Cap the WA Marketing Fee paid to AWB
- Implement the 2004 Wheat Review Panel recommendations immediately
- Bring forward the 2010 review of the export monopoly
- Reform of the Wheat Export Authority (WEA)
The role of genetically modified organisms in agriculture remains an emotional topic. The WGG wants to see a science-based approach to all assessment of GMO crops. The PGA supports the approach of the national Producers Forum, whose aim is:
- To promote informed discussion and decision making on agricultural biotechnology between rural and metropolitan communities and policy makers, for the benefit of all Australians, to ensure rural viability, environmental sustainability and consumer and producer choice.
WGG policy positions on GMOs:
- Cessation of the WA moratorium on GMO crops
- Adoption of a quantitative standard of contamination (i.e. EU’s <0.9%)
- Allow immediate trials of GMO crops based on scientific data and international experience
Other Policy Positions
- To support contestability in storage & handling, transport and marketing services for grain on the domestic and export markets whilst maintaining integrity of service.
- To protect Australia’s bio-security through an efficient and cost effective quarantine service.
- To foster a business environment across Australia that will attract private investment in grain value-adding infrastructure.
- Strict accountability for the spending of compulsory grower levies (such as that collected on behalf of the GRDC).
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Are you a grain producer, or do you work in an associated industry? It is important that you back up the PGA in their endeavours to change the system. Call you local MPs, write letters to the rural press and above all talk to your neighbours. Only the consistent presentation of fact-based arguments will lead to positive policy outcomes.
Ground Floor, 28-42 Ventnor Ave
Western Australia 6005
PO Box 889
Western Australia 6872
- PHONE (08) 9212 6900
- FAX (08) 9485 0299