WAGG to push for GCA membership

28 Aug, 2008 10:50 AM
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THE WA Grain Group (WAGG) is applying for a seat on the Grains Council of Australia (GCA), concerned for future representation of the grains industry to government.

The news comes after WAGG hosted to a high powered meeting earlier this month at the Harrismith Golf Club where about 40 grain growers asked tough questions of high profile grain industry leaders GRDC managing director Peter Reading and GCA chairman Murray Jones.

The questions centred on clarifying the value growers are getting from their compulsory GRDC levy.

Growers also wanted to know what direction the GCA was heading now the single desk debate was finished.

Mr Jones said he had concerns for future of the grains industry's peak representative body now that WA and NSW branches were no longer members.

He said the GCA had identified five key areas where WA growers were not represented and, for them, he urged a national approach to decision making.

He said WA could not afford to continue being absent from decisions that impacted on biosecurity, quarantine, trade, climate change, national transport infrastructure, research and development.

"I am concerned when I sit around the national table to discuss and decide on matters addressing these important issues, and WA and NSW are not represented," Mr Jones said.

He welcomed WAGG interest to join the GCA to fill the gap.

"WAFarmers is currently not a member of the GCA and that's their choice," he said.

"We would welcome WA representation on all grain matters not just wheat, especially in discussions on how GRDC funding is set."

WAGG chairman Doug Clarke said all sides at the meeting had equal says and felt satisfied by what they had heard, a sentiment shared by Mr Reading and Mr Jones.

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