Media Release

14 November 2017

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The $4 billion man

COUNTRYMINDED candidate for New England Pete Mailler said Barnaby Joyce is singularly responsible for a $4 billion shortfall in our economy.

Pete was the Chairman of Grain Producers Australia in late-2012, when the Wheat Export Marketing Amendment Bill was passed in Federal Parliament. The legislation was passed with specific conditions tabled to address the excessive market power of big grain companies.
Pete said one specific condition was to mandate bulk handling companies to provide weekly wheat stocks information by store, by grade and by port zone during harvest, and monthly thereafter. This is a crucial factor in improving market transparency and improving competition for wheat.
“Since taking office, Joyce has failed to enforce that condition,” he said
“The value of this information was conservatively and independently estimated to be worth between three to five-dollars per tonne of wheat to growers in Australia.
“It is information that would have helped address some of the asymmetry that exists in the grain marketing system in favour of bulk handling companies.”
Pete said as a result the bulk handlers have exclusive and full knowledge of everybody's stock position within their grain networks. In contrast, the rest of the trade and growers are essentially trading blind.
“The harvest that is underway means Australian producers have produced about 125 million tonnes of wheat on Joyce’s watch. By extrapolation, this has cost growers $600 million in lost revenue from the non-enforcement of the conditions of Wheat Export Marketing Amendment Bill,” he said.
“The accepted economic multiplier for Australian farm income is a factor of seven. So, Joyce’s inaction has lost our economy approximately $4.2 billion and most directly affected is the regional economy.”
Pete said producer groups across the country have pressured Mr Joyce to ensure this stocks information was provided consistently, but the ugly side of party-first partisan politics seems to have won out.
“Like most in Canberra, it seems Mr Joyce does not understand that the hurt to farmers is amplified in the subsequent hurt on their communities. Tragically he seems to not care,” Pete said.
“CountryMinded is the credible, conservative, political alternative for rural and regional voters who have been taken for granted for too long.
“We deserve a better deal and CountryMinded can and will provide one.”


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For interviews contact: Pete Mailler on 0427 265 707 or at pete.mailler@countryminded.org.au