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Thursday, 13 August 2009
Page: 4969


Senator Boswell asked the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, upon notice, on 24 June 2009:

With reference to the deregulation of the wheat industry in Australia:

(1)   Can the Minister outline any studies, reports, modelling, papers, research projects, analysis and reviews commissioned by the department on the effects of deregulation of the wheat industry on:

(a)   wheat growers;

(b)   quality control for export markets;

(c)   the industry’s reputation as a reliable supplier; and

(d)   infrastructure requirements for the industry in the future.

(2)   Will the Minister commission a study on the effects of deregulation of the wheat industry, especially in relation to:

(a)   the cost of deregulation to wheat growers;

(b)   the quality control measures for export markets, together with a review on where the new system has failed;

(c)   the level of transport costs;

(d)   the reputation of the Australian wheat brand internationally;

(e)   the impact of infrastructure failures on Australia’s export markets; and

(f)   infrastructure requirements for the industry in the future.


Senator Sherry (Assistant Treasurer) —The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

(1)   In March 2008, ABARE produced a report titled ‘Potential implications of the proposed changes to marketing of export wheat’ that looked at the potential impact of the proposed reforms. As with all major regulatory changes, a regulatory impact assessment was included with the Parliamentary documentation.

(2)   Under section 89 of the Wheat Export Marketing Act 2008 (the Act), the Productivity Commission must conduct a review of the Act and the wheat export accreditation scheme. It must begin its review by 1 January 2010 and report to me by 1 July 2010.