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Grain export changes loom

WESTERN Australia has moved closer to full grain export deregulation with the Economic Regulation Authority recommending the deregulation of barley, canola and lupin exports. Treasurer Eric Ripper has released the ERA’s final report on the review of the Grain Marketing Act, which found that current restrictions on the export of the three grains was unlikely to deliver a net public benefit. Currently, WA is the only state to regulate the export of barley, canola and lupins via the Grain Licensing Authority, which is charged with issuing special export licences. The ERA said the removal of current licensing requirements was likely to result in greater competition in the WA grain market. In one concession to both the WA Farmers Federation and the Grain Pool of WA, the ERA has recommended that deregulation be delayed to the 2009-10 harvest rather than be introduced in 2008-09, as was recommended in the authority’s draft report. Pastoralists and Graziers Association western graingrowers chairman Leon Bradley said there were no benefits in maintaining the authority. “Failing to remove the GLA impediment will only penalise WA producers because potential buyers of their grain would prefer to buy in the east, where there are now no marketing restraints,” Mr Bradley said in a statement.

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