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Industry Expert Group report on wheat marketing reforms released.

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The Hon. Tony Burke MP Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

21 May 2008 DAFF08/062B

Industry Expert Group report on wheat marketing reforms released

The Rudd Government has released the comprehensive report from the independent expert group advising on the wheat marketing reforms.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke said the report’s findings and recommendations would help to shape wheat export policy.

The final legislation is expected to be introduced into Parliament this month, after extensive consultation.

The Wheat Industry Expert Group’s report finds that the industry has the capacity to deliver most of its key development functions under the Rudd Government’s wheat marketing reforms.

However, the group has recommended that the Government should collect and distribute information to growers on the production and marketing of wheat.

Other recommendations include:

• the Australian Bureau of Statistics and Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics should collect and distribute key information such as the production, export and availability of wheat

• the National Agricultural Commodities Marketing Association should set wheat receival standards and

• the Grains Research and Development Corporation should take on responsibility for the establishment and operation of a wheat variety classification panel.

Mr Burke said that while there were some recommendations raised by the IEG that the Government will need to consider as a priority, the industry appears well-positioned to take on many of the industry development functions in a commercial manner or through established industry bodies.

“The report has identified that Government intervention may be required to ensure that industry participants have access to sufficient information when making their decisions on production, marketing and technical strategies,” Mr Burke said.

“The Government will be looking closely at the recommendations of the IEG to examine how they can be implemented to benefit growers.”

Mr Burke also thanked the industry for its involvement, with more than 40 submissions received from individuals and industry players.

The report, The Provision and Transition of Industry Development Functions for the Australian Wheat Industry, is available on the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry website -