Mr Bradley said Mr McGauran¹s second reading speech provided an indication that he intended to exercise the veto in a way that proved extremely costly to WA growers last year.
³Last year Mr McGauran was fully aware of large AWB liabilities but forced WA growers to submit their wheat to the AWB National Pool inflicting losses of approximately $100 million,² Mr Bradley said.
³AWB then used the wheat so procured to undermine the viability of investments made by CBH on behalf of WA grain growers in Asian milling operations.
³This is a strange way to maximise grower returns.
³We can also add in an estimated $450 million dollar shortfall in the 2005-06 pool, which can be directly attributed to AWB¹s poor performance.
Mr Bradley said despite rising global prices, AWB¹s forecast returns to WA growers for the 2007-08 harvest were around $40 a tonne below export parity.
³This performance is typical of the serious shortcomings of monopoly wheat marketing that must be addressed by parliament via an inquiry such as that proposed by Senator O¹Brien,² Mr Bradley said.
³These concerns require urgent examination before any bill is passed that legislates growers into supplying wheat to AWB this harvest.
³We therefore call upon Liberal Senators to put the interests of wheat growers first with a close review of the legislation proposed by Minister McGauran.²