THE grains industry will push for retention of the 22-cents-a-tonne grower levy, which funds the Wheat Exports Authority.
Under legislation introduced late last month to the House of Representatives and the Senate, which is the subject of inquiries by parliamentary committees from both houses, the levy is to be abolished on September 30 and the WEA wound up on December 31.
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Grain Producers Australia chairman Peter Mailler said representatives of more than 20 groups and businesses attended a hastily-convened meeting in Sydney this week to discuss how they should deal with the industry's continuing liberalisation.
Mr Mailler said the meeting agreed that some form of oversight was necessary to protect the industry.
"Whatever the next step is, in terms of oversight of the wheat market, whether it's an industry function or statutory function ... the key principles are that it's got to foster competition, improve transparency and provide assurance of the integrity of quality systems," Mr Mailler said.
"The need for a strong grower voice to be active in the marketplace is an ongoing issue for the industry.
"GPA recognises that there is still a lot of dissent around the representative capacity in the industry (which) is in itself a reason why further deregulation at the moment is potentially dangerous for growers."
Mr Mailler said there were two things that would improve returns: reducing transaction costs and differentiating products to achieve market premiums where they existed.
These would be aided by the provision of timely and accurate stocks information, but there was continuing debate over what information should be available, who should have to provide it and the timeframes for it to be available.
"There is a level of disclosure required to enable the market to operate efficiently - that's something growers are saying they'd like to see - and different sectors of the supply chain would like to see it as well, (but the) point of contention is that it provides a significant competitive advantage for people that have access to the information over those that don't," he said.