Vision impaired

14 Jun, 2007 07:00 PM
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THE plug has been pulled on Single Vision Grains Australia (SVGA) after the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) decided to discontinue its funding, at an urgent board meeting late last week.

As revealed exclusively in Farm Weekly last week, SVGA's future was hanging by a thread following stalled negotiations between its funding arm GRDC, and an inability to attract financial backing from alternative sources.

A decision on SVGA's future was expected to be made at a GRDC board meeting on June 30 but the release of last week's Farm Weekly news-article forced the GRDC board to move quickly on the issue and end speculation.

GRDC chairman Terry Enright said the board had sought alternative funding for SVGA but lamented the fact they were unable to extract ongoing financial support for the project from other sections of the grains industry.

Mr Enright said SVGA had done some excellent work during the past two years but failed to achieve its goal of uniting the industry, in particular on sensitive issues, such as wheat marketing.

"Single Vision has carried out some topical work and achieved some great results but we could not afford to continue funding it alone and needed the industry to take it forward," Mr Enright said.

"There was plenty of support for its continuation from various industry groups, and in particular the farm lobby groups, but the bottom line for us was no one was prepared to pick up the tab."

Mr Enright said SVGA would conclude its current operation on Friday June 29.

The strategy was launched in March 2004 by Prime Minister John Howard amid great fanfare nd received wide spread endorsement from the industry.

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