GRAIN growers have won their battle to get a mandatory port access code as part of the Wheat Export Marketing Amendment Bill 2012.
The bill, which passed through Federal Parliament last week, sees the abolition of Wheat Exports Australia at the end of December.
It also results in the abolition of the 22 cents a tonne wheat export charge – used to fund the WEA – effective from next Monday.
The new legislation also means the port access test – which ensures grain terminal operators do not use monopoly powers to restrict exports by competitors – remains in place until September 30, 2014, when it will be replaced by the mandatory access code.
Grain Trade Australia and the Australian Grain Exporters Association had been arguing for a voluntary code of conduct to replace the port access test once it expired but grower bodies wanted mandatory undertakings.
Victorian Farmers Federation grains group president Andrew Weidemann said he was comfortable with the outcome.
Mr Weidemann said Members of Parliament had also made it clear they wanted bulk handlers to be mandatorily required to release information on grains stocks on a port basis in a bid to ensure an efficient market.
He said a national wheat industry advisory taskforce would be set up by the Government to address outstanding issues such as stocks information on a country storage basis.
It is also expected to resolve issues, such as expenditure of surplus wheat export charge funds.
AGEA president Chris Aucote said his organisation would work with stakeholders on the development of the mandatory port access code.
Mr Aucote hoped that the code would be flexible enough to evolve over time.
"We don't want a code which restricts innovation in the supply chain," he said.