WAFarmers gives PGA support

31 Aug, 2005 08:45 PM
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A PASTORALISTS and Graziers (PGA) commissioned report that says the single desk wheat export system cost WA growers $11.70/t in cross subsidies and added marketing costs has received support from an unlikely quarter.

WAFarmers grains section president Doug Clarke said some areas of the ACIL Tasman report concerned him but to dismiss them only because they were in a PGA-commissioned report would further fragment the industry.

He said while the $11.70 mentioned in the report was an area to be disputed by AWB, he was pleased another area that focused on AWBI service fees to AWBL was being addressed.

Mr Clarke said the section's concerns were based on the wheat industry benchmark, out-performance indicator and key performance indicator for staff, around which the AWBI remuneration service fee was based.

The ACIL report found the floor in the base remuneration fee had been raised from $45m to $65m and could not be lowered even if less wheat was exported.

Mr Clarke said the Grains Council of Australia, AWB and Wheat Export Authority were addressing the issues, while AWB has since indicated the remuneration fee could be lowered.

"There are issues that can be addressed without getting rid of the single desk," he said.

"You don't throw the baby out with the bath water."

Mr Clarke said one thing WA growers had missed out on was savings from the failed AWB and CBH Grain Direct joint venture, which promised to reduce handling costs by $3.30/t over five years.

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