WEST PERTH, AUSTRALIA — The CBH Group said on Sept. 27 that it welcomes the federal government’s response to the Productivity Commission’s recommendations regarding the wheat export market arrangements.

CBH Group Chief Executive Officer Andrew Crane said it supported the government’s decision to fully deregulate the wheat export market, reducing the cost of existing compliance requirements that provided little or no additional protection for growers over existing legislation.

“CBH strongly agrees with the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig that the transition to a fully deregulated market in bulk wheat exports will improve future wheat marketing arrangements and reduce costs to growers and exporters,” Crane said.

“It is our view that the government’s phased approach to full deregulation could be done more quickly, with both the abolition of Wheat Exports Australia and the removal of a separate port access test for bulk handlers occurring from Sept. 30, 2011 rather than in 2012 and 2014 respectively.

“However, CBH welcomes the certainty that the announcement of the government’s decision and timetable provides to the industry and the recognition by the government that general competition law is ultimately adequate to protect the industry against anti-competitive behavior.

“We also welcome the government’s acknowledgement that a ‘lighter touch’ accreditation scheme should apply from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, 2012 leading up to the abolition of the WEA.”

Crane said CBH looked forward to working with the government and the opposition to ensure a smooth and timely transition of the recommendations through the Parliament.