RIVAL group Grain Producers Australia has slammed this week's proposition by NSW Farmers and WAFarmers to form a new peak body called National Grains Australia, saying there are several holes in the plan which need answering.
The new body proposed will be called National Grains Australia (NGA) and, different to the GPA proposal, will be a body established and supported by state farming organisations in Australia.
But spokesperson for the developers of the GPA concept, Pete Mailler, said questions surrounded the proposal as "so few of the details are being released".
"One of the most pressing things that must be asked is how are they going to fund it, when it is such a similar model, operations-wise, to GCA, which basically ran out of funds," Mr Mailler said.
He also said he did not believe an SFO-based organisation was the best way forward for representation of the grains industry.
"With GPA, we’ve tried to come up with an organisation for the era we are operating in.
"The SFO- based model is no longer necessarily relevant on the national scale.
"SFOs have a role and are important, and they do a lot of work on state issues and state frameworks, but the purpose that brought them to the fore in a national sense was the statutory marketing arrangement which is no longer applicable."
In terms of the claim that WAFF and NSWFA represented the bulk of grain growers through production in the two states, Mr Mailler said that declining membership of both organisations, and the emergence of rival organisations, such as the Pastoralists and Graziers Association (PGA) in the west, meant there was no clear mandate for the two groups to declare they acted for the majority of grain growers.
While talks between the authors of the two groups have repeatedly fallen down, Mr Mailler did not rule out further attempts to come up with a single plan, although he said there were big ideological differences between the two plans.
"We are trying to engage the groups on the issue, and they’ve come out with their own proposal and ideology, which seems to be based on perpetuating the importance of SFOs rather than providing a solid platform for the future, but there are a lot of points that are not contradictory, so we will continue to try and find some middle ground in discussions," he said.