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Wheat plans on hold

THE Australian Wheat Board’s privatisation plans have stalled.

AWB Limited WA manager Greg Harvey said there were still several hurdles the company had to clear.

The AWB is still in the process of listing. which will probably now not be finalised until next year.

One hurdle could be growers’ concerns over ownership.

WA Farmers Federation general president Colin Nicholl believes growers are scared of losing the control of the AWB to private, non-grower shareholders.

The AWB plan would create ‘A’ and ‘B’ class shareholders.

Holders of A class shares have a say in how the AWB is run. Those shares would only go to AWB wheat growers and cannot be traded.

B class shares would initially go to growers but would be tradable on the Australian Stock Exchange.

Mr Harvey said the control issue had been an ongoing one for growers.

“Our firm view is that, with A class shares for growers only, the only way growers could give up control of the AWB is if they opted to,” Mr Harvey said.

“In addition, our constitution states that no individual can hold more than 10 per cent of the issued B class shares.”

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