Inquiries into wheat export arrangements

Senate inquiry into operational issues in export grain networks

On 23 March 2011 the Senate asked the Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport to investigate operational issues arising in the export grain storage, transport, handling and shipping network.

The committee finalised its report in April 2012. The report, which included 13 recommendations, is available at Parliament of Australia website.

The Australian Government response to the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee Report on Operational Issues in Export Grain Networks is available at Parliament of Australia website.

Senate inquiry into the Wheat Export Marketing Amendment Bill 2012

The Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee conducted a separate inquiry into the Wheat Export Marketing Amendment Bill 2012 which concluded in June 2012. The Bill was passed by the Parliament on 29 November 2012.

The Wheat Export Marketing Amendment Act 2012, subsequently passed by parliament on 29 November 2012, abolishing Wheat Exports Australia and the Wheat Export Charge, as had been recommended by the Productivity Commission. The Act also replace the Wheat Export Accreditation Scheme with a port terminal access test administered by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. It also made a provision for the access test arrangement to be replaced by an industry code of practice, provided this was in place by 30 September 2014. Finally, the Act required a Wheat Industry Advisory Taskforce to be formed by 5 February 2013. The taskforce examined key issues facing the industry, including availability of stocks information and quality management practices, and provided recommendations to government and industry for consideration.

In forming the taskforce, the then Minister for Agriculture, invited key industry stakeholders to participate on a selection committee and provide recommendations for taskforce membership. The committee comprised equal representation across the grower, trader/exporter and port terminal operator sectors, and was led by an independent chair Ms Michele Allen.

On 1 February 2013, the members of the Wheat Industry Advisory Taskforce and its terms of reference were announced. The taskforce concluded its work and provided its final report on 30 June 2014.

The Wheat Industry Advisory Taskforce websitewas archived in December 2014. Content is available on the National Library of Australia's Trove web archive.

Productivity Commission inquiry report

In 2010, the Productivity Commission published its report on wheat export marketing arrangements. It recommended that the government abolish the Wheat Export Accreditation Scheme, Wheat Exports Australia (WEA) and the Wheat Export Charge (WEC) on 30 September 2011, and abolish the access test requirements for grain port terminal operators on 30 September 2014. A copy of the report is available at the Productivity Commission website. The Australian Government’s response is also available.