27 October 2012
Special Minister of State Gary Gray today renewed his call for all parties to put politics aside and support Western Australian wheat growers in their bid to deregulate the export wheat market.
Mr Gray - who has strong family connections with wheat growing in WA - said suggestions that the issue was a “media beat-up” were simply an effort to deflect public attention.
The WA-based Minister appealed in Federal Parliament on October 11 for support of the Wheat Export Marketing Amendment Bill which would abolish the Wheat Export Authority and its 22cents a tonne levy.
Former Liberal MP Wilson Tuckey has estimated the move would save wheat growers $3 million a year, and a further $1 million would be saved by freeing CBH Terminal in Kwinana of its administrative and regulatory burden.
“I genuinely believe this is above politics; that this is a matter of pure economics for our wheat growing industry that is heading for a below-average harvest and, before the current crop is harvested, deserves to know the conditions under which their crop is being marketed,” Mr Gray said.
Domestic wheat sales were deregulated in 1989.
This afternoon, the State Liberal Council meets in Albany and will consider a motion to support the Wheat Export Marketing Amendment Bill. The motion comes from the Durack division, represented in parliament by Mr Barry Haase.
Mr Gray said wheat was WA's biggest agricultural industry. It is worth around $3.5 billion a year. In August, he had helped CBH Group launch its new rail fleet – an investment of $175 million, complementing the Federal Government’s $135 million investment in WA’s rail lines.
|John Arthur - 0408 991 261|