Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Grain growers need help now



Download PDFDownload PDF

rBRUCE LLOYD — --------------------

mDEPUTY LEADER, NATIONAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA SHADOW MINISTER FOR PRIMARY INDUSTRY Media-1 GRAIN GROWERS NEED HELP NOW

COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY L IB R A R Y l MiCAH

While the Prime Minister talks about the Wheat Board being able to resume sales to Iraq as soon as United Nations Trade Sanctions are lifted, unless he gives the wheat industry some immediate help, Australia may not have any wheat to sell, according to National Party Deputy Leader, Bruce Lloyd.

Mr Lloyd said because the price of wheat has dropped to $ 1 1 5 a tonne when the average cost of production is estimated at about $ 1 4 0 a tonne, many growers are reluctant to take the risk of

planting again.

He said time is running out because planting will begin soon.

He said the Prime Minister would have to:

. reach an agreement with the US that it will not use its

Export Enhancement Program or Special Aid Programs to take away Australia's traditional wheat markets in the Middle East.

. advance growers money now ahead of the payment from Iraq

for wheat already purchased. This will give growers money to plant the next crop.

. ensure that grain growers are compensated for losses they incurred as a result of the trade sanctions. The Prime Minister promised that all Australians would share this cost he must now fulfil this promise.

. make provision for a deficiency payment or underwriting for the coming season. If predictions by the Australia Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics of $158 a tonne are correct it will not cost the Government anything.

Mr Lloyd said the wheat industry was in trouble through no fault of its own.

"This industry has not borrowed money or over-produced. It has simply suffered as the result of the Middle East war, and the trade war between the US and EC.

"The Coalition's policy of underwriting on a single year basis would provide growers with some planting confidence.

"Australia needs to move quickly to re-establish its claim to markets in Iraq, Kuwait and Egypt for wheat, barley, rice, fruit and dairy products.

"However if we do not have the grain to sell in the first year we could lose markets permanently," Mr Lloyd said.

ENDS 1 . 3 . 9 1

I Parliament House, Canberra, A.C.T., 2600 For further information phone 062/ 774193 I