Press Release

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JOYCE PLAYS CHEAP POLITICS WITH WA WHEAT GROWERS’ FUTURES

2012-08-01

“Queensland Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce’s championing of the retention and expansion of Wheat Exports Australia (WEA) at this morning’s Australian Grains Industry Conference (AGIC) is nothing more than a cheap political stunt to secure Eastern States votes at the cost of West Australian wheat growers,” PGA Western Grain Growers Chairman John Snooke said.

 

“Senator Joyce has decided to play the lowest common denominator in politics by pandering to those Eastern States agrarian socialist farmers who want to return to the days of collective marketing under the Single Desk.”

 

“Retaining and extending the charter of Wheat Exports Australia offers no benefits to the thousands of wheat growers in Western Australia who are finally free from the subjugation of the Single Desk and no longer have to underwrite the excessive costs of the previous national wheat marketing regime.”

 

“Immediately following the deregulation of the bulk wheat export market Western Australian wheat went from being one of the cheapest to now one of the most expensive and sought after wheat in the world.”

 

“And there is no way that the wheat growers in WA are going to give up their premium in order to once again subsidise their Eastern States competitors.”

 

“The problem with the one size fits all’ marketing arrangements that Senator Joyce and his National Party colleagues continue to call for is that there are at least three separate wheat industries in Australia – including the WA and South Australian export; the Eastern States domestic; and the smaller Eastern States export.”

 

“Each market in different and has its own unique issues from storage and handling, to port access, to dealing with monopolies, to developing new markets,” he said.

 

“And while the Eastern States wheat industry has a self serving benefit in re-regulating wheat exports, WA, which is Australia’s largest producer of export wheat, certainly does not.”

 

“As was clearly shown following the AWB Oil for Food Scandal, Government intervention and regulation has never assisted in protecting or enhancing the reputation of Australia’s wheat exports or its growers and it would appear its only benefit was as a guaranteed support of funding for the National Party.”

 

“This ‘push by design’ to the return of a regulatory wheat marketing regime is a threat to the profitability and competitive advantage of West Australian wheat growers and is why the WA grains industry is prevailing upon all WA Federal Parliamentarians not to take a leaf out of Senator Joyce’s little agrarian socialist book.”

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