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In this Media Release from the national Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig announces the appointment of members of the Wheat Industry Advisory Taskforce and the Taskforce Terms of Reference – a result of the Wheat Export Marketing Amendment Act 2012 passed by Parliament late last year.

Minister appoints wheat industry taskforce

1 February 2013

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, today announced the appointment of the members of the Wheat Industry Advisory Taskforce and the Taskforce Terms of Reference.

The Wheat Industry Advisory Taskforce, charged with assisting industry to identify areas of inefficiency in the wheat market, is part of the Wheat Export Marketing Amendment Act 2012, passed by Parliament late last year.

“The Taskforce represents an opportunity to give some clarity to a range of issues that have been raised by the wheat industry over the last decade,” Minister Ludwig said.

“The Taskforce will examine issues across the supply chain, including industry—good functions and provide recommendations to improve the efficiency and profitability of the industry outside of regulation.

“I would like to thank the selection committee, including independent chair Mr Bob Granger, for providing quality candidates with a broad range of relevant skills and experience to lead this important process.”

Minister Ludwig announced Dr Michele Allan as chair of the taskforce, along with members Mr Mark Barber, Mr David Fulwood, Mr Imre Mencshelyi, Mr Mitch Morison, Ms Rebecca Reardon and Mr Graham Shields.

“Each member of the taskforce is very experienced and committed to their new role of moving the industry forward,” Minister Ludwig said.

The Taskforce will be developing a forward work plan as a critical first step and will involve considerable consultation with all participants in the wheat industry.

“Industry is a key driver in this process, and I encourage all interested stakeholders to engage with the taskforce as it addresses its terms of reference,” Minister  Ludwig said.

 M E D I A   R E L E A S E

Stability returns to the wheat industry

WA Grains Group Inc. (WAGG) chairman Doug Clarke has commended the rational decision to appoint a Wheat Industry Advisory Taskforce, as part of the Wheat Export Marketing Amendment Act 2012 passed by Parliament last week.

The Taskforce will assist industry to find areas of inefficiency in the wheat market as well as develop a mandatory code of conduct to oversee operation of the Australian wheat industry. The code of conduct will be developed during 2013 and reviewed two years after its introduction in 2014.

Mr Clarke said WAGG supported the retainment of an overseeing industry body to address issues within the supply chain, such as:

1. Fair, equitable and least-cost Port Access.

2. Disclosure of wheat stocks.

3. Export wheat integrity.

“The establishment of a mandatory code of conduct provides much more rigor than the proposed voluntary code and will give Australian wheat growers confidence that there is less chance of the supply chain being manipulated,” Mr Clarke said.

“This will in turn, provide the grower the opportunity to maximise the return for his tonne of wheat.

“While the issues are at times lost in a political dust storm, the outcomes for growers have been improved.”

Mr Clarke praised the Grain Producers Association, political parties and politicians who understood the issues of concern.

He said the state farming organisations of Queensland (Agforce), New South Wales (NSW Farmers Federation), South Australia (Grain Producers SA), Victoria (Victorian Farmers Federation Grains Group) and Western Australia (WA Grains Group) also played a vital role in the negotiations of the amended Wheat Act.