WEST PERTH, AUSTRALIA — The CBH Group said on Sept. 26 that it welcomes the declarations of support for continuing wheat market reform from the Western Australian Government and Nationals WA Federal Member for O'Connor, Tony Crook, MP.
Acting Chief Executive Officer David Moroney said CBH and the major organizations representing grain growers in Western Australia strongly supported the continuing deregulation of wheat exports proposed in the Federal Government's Wheat Export Marketing Amendment Bill.
"As a grower co-operative, we commend Mr. Crook and the Premier of Western Australia, Colin Barnett MLA, for their statements this week that continuing reform now is in the best interests of WA growers," Moroney said. "We would urge all WA Federal representatives to follow their example. Western Australia is the largest, most consistent exporter of wheat from Australia and this bill will remove what are now unnecessary costs and regulation on an industry which must be globally competitive.
"Since wheat marketing arrangements began the transition in 2008 to a multi-seller system, Western Australian growers have benefited from higher returns for their wheat when compared with their eastern states counterparts. This has occurred for a number of reasons including good quality clean grain, a superior storage handling and transport system in WA geared specifically for exports and our better geographic position in relation to important Asian markets."
Moroney said CBH, like other major participants in the increasingly competitive grains sector, required legislative certainty to continue to invest in key assets, such as CBH's new train fleet, to maintain and drive economic efficiencies to ensure WA grain remained competitive in world markets.
"The reduction in the current legislative certainty, by not supporting the continued transition of wheat marketing arrangements as outlined in the WEMA bill, will diminish investor confidence in the grains industry," he said.
Moroney said the industry was already well advanced on a code of conduct which would provide fair, efficient and transparent access to port terminal services.
Industry representatives from grower organizations, marketers and port terminal operators as well as the Federal Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission have met formally since early in 2012 and expect to release a draft code for industry wide consultation before the end of 2012.
"The last thing this industry needs is for our federal representatives to stall further reform, impose an unnecessary levy on all wheat exports and potentially open the door for more regulation rather than less," he said.