Peter Thompson supports abolition of Wheat Exports Australia

Roma grazier Peter Thompson is advocating the abolition of Wheat Export Australia.
Roma grazier Peter Thompson is advocating the abolition of Wheat Export Australia. Derek Barry

LOCAL grower Peter Thompson has thrown his weight behind the bill to replace the wheat export authority.

Mr Thompson is currently harvesting his crop of wheat and chick peas at Echo Hills, 80km north-east of Roma and he said he fully supported the bill in Canberra to remove the Wheat Export Accreditation Scheme and the wheat export charge as  well as winding up Wheat Exports Australia.

"Most people don't realise that the current WEA (Wheat Exports Australia formed in 2008) is a totally different entity to the old WEA (Wheat Export Authority wound up in 2007)," Mr Thompson said.

"The old WEA's role was to monitor and report to the government and growers on AWB's performance in managing the National wheat Pool and consider applications to export wheat."

Mr Thompson said the new WEA was just an accreditation body which charged growers a 22c a tonne levy for export.

"It is is a scheme that no longer performing any useful function for us as growers," he said.

"If the bill doesn't pass we'll be operating in a partially deregulated market continuing to fund  the current WEA which is of no use to us that I can see."

Chris Kelly, GrainGrowers Policy Group Spokesperson said their group also supported the Productivity Commission's recommendations to repeal the Wheat Export Marketing Act 2008.

"Producers do not see value in the role of WEA who simply undertake a once off financial check on organisations applying to export wheat while collecting a levy to fund the administrative functions," Mr Kelly said.

The bill is currently before the lower house with several west coast National MPs  threatening to cross the floor in support of the bill.

Topics:  agriculture peter thompson politics roma wheat

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