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Greens amendments 'a win for farmers'



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31 October 2012

Greens amendments ‘a win for farmers’

The Australian Greens have secured important wins for farmers across the country following discussions with the Government over the Wheat Export Marketing Amendment Bill.

Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson for Agriculture, says the party will support the Bill through the House of Representatives and that the Government has agreed to support Greens amendments when the Bill is debated in the Senate.

“Today’s announcement is a win for all farmers. This issue has been at a standstill and the Greens have worked hard to move this issue forward,” Senator Siewert said today.

“As a result of our discussions, the Government supported Australian Greens amendments to include a mandatory code of conduct in the Act, and have agreed to establish wheat export advisory taskforce.

“The taskforce will use some of the funds leftover from WEA to provide advice to the Government and industry on a number of areas, including the development of grain quality standards for the industry and the most appropriate mechanisms to enable timely provision of grain stocks information.

“This taskforce sets out to address the concerns that have been widely raised by growers, particularly those in the eastern states. It is an opportunity for farmers to work to resolve on-going issues, such as access to information and grain quality. Our amendments allow for further consultation around the establishment of the taskforce, as there needs to be industry consultation as part of the processes of setting up this body.

“Farmers in the West will also benefit from the increased deregulation offered by this announcement.

“The Australian Greens have engaged with growers across the country on this difficult issue, we have sought to find a strong, compromise solution that offers the best prospects for improving industry outcomes into the future. During this process it has become clear to us that the WEA is not the appropriate body to be handing wheat quality and stocks information and that a voluntary code does not offer appropriate protections for growers.

“This is a way forward for an issue that seemed to be irresolvable and I am pleased that the Greens have been able to deliver a solution,” Senator Siewert concluded.

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