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Reports of imported grain unfounded



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MEDIA RELEASEMinister for Primary Industries and EnergySimon Crean, MR DPIE91/252C 11 October, 1991

REPORTS OF IMPORTED GRAIN UNFOUNDED

The Minister for Primary Industries and Energy, Simon Crean, said reports this week stating the Government has received applications for permits to import bulk grains were premature at best and erroneous.

"Those contemplating such actions should, if the grain price were to be subsidised, think hard about the wider implications," Mr Crean said.

The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) has received inquiries about the quarantine requirements but no applications. Expressions of interest would have to detail the measures potential importers intended to implement to meet Australia's stringent

quarantine requirements.

Mr Crean said his major concern was that lot feeders could also put at risk the Andriessen Agreement which keeps EC subsidised beef out of our regional markets, should they purchase subsidised grain.

"The Government does not prohibit the importation of grains but to date, no significant amounts of grain have entered Australia. Domestic producers have demonstrated their ability to compete successfully under conditions of fair competition in selling their quality, clean grain," he

said.

"I recognise that the supply situation in Queensland is tight and that as a consequence prices have increased. However, I'm confident that grain suppliers realise their longer term interests don't necessarily rest in profit maximisation at a time when grain users, particuluarly lot feeders, are under strain.

"The Government has been strenuously opposing subsidised grain sales in international markets and will take up the fight in the domestic market should this prove necessary," Mr Crean said.

Information:

Catherine Payne/ David Calvert, Minister's office, (06) 277 7520.

COM M ONW EALTH PARI!AM ENTARY LIBRARY MICAH

Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600. Telephone: (06)277 7520 Facsimile: (06)273 4120