Grain Producers Australia says the Federal Election represents an incredible opportunity for the nation’s leaders to back the Australian grain industry’s future prosperity, by bolstering the profitability and sustainability of grain producing communities.
Today, Prime Minister Scott Morrison visited the Governor General, David Hurley, to confirm the election will now be held on Saturday 21 May.
GPA Chair and WA grain producer, Barry Large, said grain producers and their communities are at the centre of GPA’s election policy requests.
He said these priorities are detailed in a document developed through grass roots processes, led by the peak industry group’s State Members, who represent the nation’s major grain growing regions.
“GPA is looking to all sides of politics to rise above politics and focus on committing to good policy and good outcomes for all,” Mr Large said.
“GPA’s policy priorities advocate these outcomes in the best interests of growers and our communities, along with broader benefits for the national economy such as job creation.
“We know the grains industry has been a significant economic contributor with a forecast $26 billion return from a record 62 million tonne crop last year. Our policy platform highlights ways to further bolster our contribution to the national economy.
“Committing to these initiatives represents a significant opportunity for growth – especially given grain is already the second biggest agricultural sector in Australia and a major exporting industry which supports jobs and businesses across the nation.”
GPA Chief Executive, Colin Bettles, said the peak industry group’s federal election policy priorities reflected ongoing conversations with Australia’s political leaders and now it’s time for commitments.
“We know grain producers have faced significant challenges with the compound impacts of COVID-19, droughts, floods and mouse plagues, along with the usual seasonal production challenges such as frost and input prices,” he said.
“Despite high grain prices, the war in Ukraine is also creating added risk for growers in planting this year’s crop due to subsequent increases in input costs, with record high prices for fuel, fertiliser and chemical.
“These unusual circumstances highlight why creating more stability and certainty – as outlined in GPA’s policy priorities – is critical for grain producing communities and agriculture more broadly.”
Mr Bettles said GPA is writing to each of the major political parties, minor parties and selected independents, seeking their response to key questions on these policy priorities.
He said their responses will be posted on GPA’s election advocacy campaign webpage, to encourage ongoing engagement and accountability.
“GPA welcomes the opportunity to engage with all government and industry stakeholders on these election priorities, to help deliver a more profitable and sustainable industry,” he said.
“One such policy request – calling for the Federal Government to approve a market study of the grains supply chain, to optimise competition and also consider strategic supply chain investment to help reduce freight costs, is already in front of decision-makers, waiting for a commitment.”
GPA’s 2022 Federal Election Policy Priorities
· Increase Supply of Skilled Workers on Grain Farms
· Better Digital Connectivity to Boost Farm Productivity
· ACCC to Conduct Study of Australian Grain Markets to Optimise Competition
· Increase Government Investment in Local Manufacturing Initiatives
· Grow Export Trade and Market Access for Australian Grains
· High Level Strategic Analysis/Investment to Reduce Grain Freight Costs
· Increased Focus on Preventative Biosecurity Measures to Protect Australian Grains
· Improved Access and Application for Agricultural Pesticides and Technology
· Remove Restrictive Grains Industry Red Tape and Costs
· Improved Independent Oversight of Grain Levies
· Strategic Taxation Reforms to Optimise Farm Resilience and Production
· Sharpen Grain Farm and Community Focus of Sustainability and Resilience Program