ABBOTT’S DEREGULATION PLAN SLAMMED BY PGA
Western Australian wheat farmers have slammed Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s attempt to appease dissention in the Coalition over his handling of the abolition of Wheat Exports Australia (WEA) by promising to get a commitment for full deregulation from Nationals Leader Warren Truss.
“Tony Abbott’s latest tactic to stop WA Liberal MP’s from crossing the floor and supporting the Government’s Bill to remove the WEA by signing an agreement with the very man who is prepared to let WA Nationals MP Tony Crook vote in support of the same Bill is beyond rational thought,” PGA Western Grain Growers Chairman John Snooke said.
“The reason the Liberal Party split from their Coalition partners in 2008 and supported Labor’s deregulation Bill was that the Nationals’ policy on wheat export marketing was proven to be an abject failure.”
“Warren Truss was the overseer of the wheat export industry at a time where the dysfunction of the Wheat Export Authority, the corruption in the AWB and the Iraqi Oil for Food Scandal severely damaged the reputation and quality of Australian export wheat and almost destroyed Australia’s standing as an international trade partner.”
“Now Tony Abbott wishes to make the same people who still support the return of the Single Desk the gatekeepers of deregulation by letting them decide whether the industry is ready for full deregulation or not.”
“What is very clear is that Mr Abbott has fallen for the old Nationals’ chestnut of confusing everyone into thinking that you can deregulate through regulating.”
“The simple truth is the Government’s Bill is not about whether the wheat export industry is partially or fully deregulated but about removing a redundant bureaucratic body which has no purpose and imposes an unnecessary cost on wheat growers in Western Australia.”
“And there is no need to legislate any perceived industry good items such as wheat quality because they already are being handled by the industry and by the market.”
“All Mr Abbott’s joint statement will do is show that the Liberal Party is no longer prepared to stand against the protectionist policies of the Nationals.”
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