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Grower poll still needed on wheat export marketing despite appointment of consultative committee.



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Further information contact Tony Windsor, Ph (02) 6761 3080 or 0427 66 8868

14 January 2007

Grower poll still needed on wheat export marketing despite appointment of consultative committee

A proper poll of all Australian wheat growers on the future marketing of export wheat is still needed despite the appointment of the Wheat Export Marketing Consultation Committee by the Australian Government according to Tony Windsor, the Independent Member for New England.

Mr Windsor believes that whatever recommendations are given to the Government by the Consultative Committee, there still needs to be a poll of all growers so that those in the industry are given the opportunity to have their say formally recorded.

“The appointment of the Wheat Export Marketing Consultation Committee by the Australian Government should only be a step in the process of delivering a long term solution to the export marketing of Australian wheat.

“The current single desk system has served Australia very well giving growers confidence and security when dealing on corrupt international wheat markets.

“Any changes to the current process need to be accepted and supported by Australian wheat growers so that they can continue to grow wheat with confidence that they will be competitive with other wheat growing countries.

“To do this, I again call for a proper poll of all growers,” Mr Windsor said.

Mr Windsor is concerned that the report by the Consultative Committee will not truly represent the attitude of wheat growers given the previous roles played by the appointees.

“The Consultative Committee is made up of people who share the Government’s view of the free market delivering the best outcomes for Australia.

“In a perfect world where everyone plays by the same rules this may well be the case, however as we do not live in a perfect world and where Australia is a small but still significant player, we must have processes in place that maximise our strengths and minimise our weaknesses.

“All of the Committee members come from large corporate operations and I question their capacity to walk in the shoes of the family farmer who needs the benefits offered by single desk export marketing of their wheat.

“In particular, Peter Corish - the former President of the National Farmers’ Federation has sold out on the full sale of Telstra, the US Free Trade Agreement and even recommended the removal of interest rate subsidies from Exceptional Circumstance assistance to farmers - hardly someone wheat growers should rely on to work in THEIR best interest,” Mr Windsor said.

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TONY WINDSOR MP

INDEPENDENT

FEDERAL MEMBER FOR NEW ENGLAND

Shop 5

259 Peel Street TAMWORTH NSW 2340

All Mail: PO Box 963 TAMWORTH NSW 2340

Ph: (02) 6761 3080

Toll Free: 1300 301 839 Fax: (02) 6761 3380

e-mail: Tony.Windsor.MP@aph.gov.au Web Page: www.tonywindsor.com.au

PARLIAMENT OF AUSTRALIA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Media Release

Further information contact Tony Windsor, Ph (02) 6761 3080 or 0427 66 8868

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Mr Windsor is however urging wheat growers to participate energetically in the consultation process.

“It is very important for ALL wheat growers to turn up on this issue by vigorously participating in the consultative process.

“Wheat growers have to let their views be known in unmistakable terms to the Consultative Committee.

“They must not beat about the bush - they must be blunt in letting these people know what they want for THEIR industry.

“The growers must turn up to the public meetings in large numbers.

“The growers must make written submissions to the Committee and the growers must make their political representatives accountable for the end result because as the Committee’s terms of reference state, ‘The Committee will provide information, particularly from the viewpoint of growers, for the government to consider in deciding how future wheat export marketing arrangements should be structured.’

“I would also encourage all growers to put in their submissions that they want a proper poll of ALL growers on the options,” Mr Windsor said.

Should the Government fail to implement a poll, Mr Windsor is investigating ways in which he can poll growers himself.

“I feel so strongly about this issue that should the Government fail to do a poll of growers that I will seek to undertake one myself.

“The future of the Australian wheat industry is at stake here and those in the industry need to have their say individually heard not through some Consultative Committee Report that will reflect what the Government wants to impose on them,” Mr Windsor said.

More information on the Wheat Export Marketing Consultation Committee is available on the website http://www.daffa.gov.au/wheat with submissions closing on Friday 23rd February with the Report due back to the Government by 30th March.