The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Nick Sherry

Nick Sherry

Assistant Treasurer

9 June 2009 - 14 September 2010

Media Release of 28/09/2009

NO.059

Joint Media Release
with
The Hon Tony Burke MP
Australian Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Another Transparency Measure on Wheat Reforms Delivered

The Rudd Government is delivering on another transparency measure announced as part of the bulk wheat export marketing reforms last year.

The Assistant Treasurer, Senator Nick Sherry and Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke have announced the Productivity Commission will this week begin an inquiry into Australia's new wheat export marketing arrangements.

Legislation introduced last year requires the Productivity Commission to hold an inquiry into the operation of the Act and the export accreditation scheme.

It is one of a number of checks and transparency measures incorporated to assist wheat growers and industry with the transition.

Other measures included:

  • exporters who own port facilities are required to provide fair access to other exporters by giving access undertakings to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
  • ABARE and Australian Bureau of Statistics data to be released in monthly market information reports
  • grants to enable new exporters to better meet the technical requirements of international customers
  • free information sessions for growers held in 2008

The Productivity Commission has been asked to assess the effectiveness of the arrangements in meeting the objectives of the Wheat Export Marketing Act 2008.

It will also consider the operation of the Act and the Wheat Export Accreditation Scheme, including the role of the independent regulator Wheat Exports Australia.

Further, the Commission will consider how the Act and the accreditation scheme affect stakeholders, including costs and benefits.

The Commission will consult widely, including with growers, grain industry representatives, accredited exporters, bag and container exporters, potential bulk exporters, bulk handling companies, Wheat Exports Australia, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and relevant government departments.

It will release a draft report for public comment and is required to report to the Government by 1 July 2010.

For more information, go to www.pc.gov.au or phone the Commission on (02) 6240 3239.

28 September 2009