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FARM ONLINE | ALP throws support behind proposed grain market inquiry

GRAIN grower groups continue to nominate a market inquiry into potential competition issues as their major priority from a new government in the lead-up to the federal election this weekend.

Both Grain Producers Australia (GPA) and Grain Growers want to see an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission inquiry looking into competition issues impacting the Australian grains market, to help safeguard growers.

GPA chairman Barry Large said growers had been contacting his organisation over the past six months concerned by prices that appeared to be well below world parity, a point disputed by Australian grain traders.

He said in response GPA had written to both major parties and selected minor parties and independents seeking their responses on whether they backed the ACCC market study.

Mr Large said he had been encouraged by the response from the ALP.

"We're strongly encouraged by Labor's interest to discuss the ACCC market study policy along with the merits of conducting a high-level strategic analysis of the infrastructure and investment needs of the Australian grains supply chain, to reduce grain freight costs, and what that means for both producers and consumers," Mr Large said.

However, Mr Large said in contrast the coalition's response was disappointing and supported the status quo continuing despite GPA formally submitting this request to Minister Littleproud as far back as mid-March, along with an evidence-gathering report conducted last harvest highlighting competition issues.

He said while the coalition's response to other pre-election priorities had been good, in regards to the proposed review GPA was not pleased with the lukewarm reply.


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