GLA may continue for another two years: Chance

28 May, 2008 10:53 AM
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AGRICULTURE Minister Kim Chance has ruled out any changes to the Grains Licensing Authority (GLA) system this harvest.

Doubt has also been cast on the GLA being removed before the 2009-10 harvest.

Mr Chance said there was no immediate need to alter the way barley, canola and lupins were exported from WA under the system, and he urged caution about making any changes.

He said the loss of the single desk for wheat had caused enough disruption to the industry.

Any more disruptions, such as the loss of the GLA, would only create more instability and pain for growers and the industry to deal with, he said.

The status quo continuing for grains for another two years comes despite other sections of the industry calling on the Government to follow the recommendations of a critical report into the GLA’s functions.

The Economic Regulation Authority’s (ERA) draft review of the Grain Marketing Act 2002 was published in early April and closed for comment on May 16.

Its strong recommendations marked the first step towards the deregulation of coarse grains in WA.

The draft report recommended the Government dispense with the GLA.

Mr Chance said the report had only made recommendations and did not provide guarantees.

Under the inquiry’s terms of reference, the ERA considered and reported on the effectiveness of the GLA’s operations and the need for a continuation of its core functions.

It also looked into restrictions of barley, canola and lupin exports while doing an assessment of the operation of pools and cash acquisitions for prescribed grains by GrainPool, the main export licence holder.

A key finding was that the GLA’s introduction had been largely positive and had been effective at increasing grain market competition.

However, it found there was no indication that single desk marketing resulted in price premiums for barley, canola or lupins.

"The removal of the current licensing requirements is likely to lead to greater competition in the WA grain market," the report said

"The introduction of a South Australian-type accreditation system for prescribed grains is unlikely to deliver significant benefits."

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