GLA report flawed: WAFarmers

18 May, 2005 08:45 PM
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THE WA Farmers Federation has slammed the RSM Bird Cameron Review of the Grain Licensing Authority (GLA), claiming it has serious fundamental flaws.

WAFarmers grains section president Doug Clarke said that the organisation's response to the report rebutted many of the points raised in the regarding the operations of the GLA, and highlighted how the GLA was undermining the triple bottom line of the single desk.

"One of our main concerns is the credibility of RSM Bird Cameron, as its review contained almost no meaningful information and showed a lack of grain industry knowledge, especially in international marketing," he said.

"Its bias to free-market philosophies, as was clearly stated in their corporate profile on its website, makes a mockery of the claim that an ëindependentí Ministerial Review of the GLA was conducted."

The WAFarmers response also highlights the failure of RSM Bird Cameron to conduct a true cost benefit analysis, by only relying on one seasonís data.

"A professional cost benefit analysis would normally address issues over a timeline of no less than five years, as well as seek to remove the influence of experimentation and other market distorting behaviour, since Australia currently competes in a corrupt global grain market," Mr Clarke said.

"This was not done in the case of the ministerial review."

WAFarmers made five key recommendations to the Agriculture Minister:

p That the minister acknowledge publicly that the vast majority of growers wish to maintain the single desk for the export of WA barley, canola and lupins in bulk

p That the State Government accepts the public benefit findings in favour of the national wheat export single desk also apply to the WA coarse grains industry

p That the minister issue with immediate effect, new guidelines to the Grain Licensing Authority that re-establishes true single desk for the export of WA prescribed grains in bulk

p That an amendment to the Grain Marketing Act 2002 allow the main export license holder to exercise a power of veto over licenses, as is the case with AWB International under the Federal Wheat Marketing Act, be included in the 2005 Parliamentary program

p That the next public interest test of the state single desk marketing arrangements for the bulk export of prescribed grains be no earlier than 2010, corresponding with the scheduled review of national wheat marketing.

A copy of the WAFarmers report, Response to the RSM Bird Cameron Review of the Benefits and Costs of the Operations of the Grain Marketing Act 2002 and the Grain Licensing Authority, January 2005, can be obtained by contacting Loren Bebich on 9486 2100.

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