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Labor threatens end of single desk.

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MEDIA RELEASE Senator the Hon Sandy Macdonald Senator for NSW


Labor’s policy on wheat marketing arrangements is a farce and should anger local wheat producers according to Nationals Senator for NSW, Sandy Macdonald.

“This policy is in complete opposition to the needs and wants of the vast majority of wheat growers across NSW who have thrown their support behind the retention of the single desk,” Senator Macdonald said.

“Labor has developed a policy which doesn’t make sense and will lead to the end of the single desk wheat marketing arrangements. You can’t have a single desk with multiple sellers,” he said.

“The Nationals have remained strong in their policy to continue with single desk wheat marketing arrangements because we understand that this is in the best interests of grain growers.”

“Labor has shown again that it has a complete lack of regard for the agricultural industry and regional Australia.”

“I would urge all local wheat producers to stand up to Labor and make it known that they want the single desk to stay,” Senator Macdonald said.

“The Nationals in a Coalition Government continue to support Australian wheat growers and has given growers until 1 March 2008 to establish a new single desk entity, completely separate from AWB, capable of managing the single desk,” he said.

This decision supported the findings of the Ralph Committee, which spent months consulting with thousands of growers in every wheat growing state in Australia, and concluded that 70% of growers wanted a grower-owned and controlled entity to manage the single desk.

Growers across Australia have formed the Wheat Export Marketing Alliance (WEMA), and are working hard to establish a company to manage the desk following the current harvest.

Ends…Wednesday 10 October 2007