Programme 1.7 Grains industry
- foster and enable a productive, profitable, internationally competitive and sustainable grains industry.
We advised the Government on grains industry issues. This included liaising with industry and other stakeholders, to support continued development and improved market conditions for Australian grains exporters. Our key responsibilities included managing the Government's wheat export reforms.
More information is available on the department's website.
Key performance indicators
|Key performance indicator||2013–14 target||Performance|
|Effective policies, programmes and regulations that contribute to enhanced productivity, profitability, competitiveness and sustainability||Accurate and timely advice provided||Met||Met||-|
|Engage with domestic and international stakeholders on grains issues||5 meetings||Met||Met||-|
|Actions relating to wheat marketing implemented in accord with the timetable set out in the legislation||100%||Met||Met||-|
|Engage with industry working groups to develop new arrangements for wheat marketing||2 meetings||Met||Met||-|
|All levy funds paid to the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC)||100%||Met||Met||Met|
|Timely and effective engagement with GRDC to ensure compliance with relevant legislation and to discuss industry activities||2 meetings||Met||Met||-|
|Integrated scientific and economic research–underpinning research, advice, forecast, projects, products and data services meet stakeholder expectations and are delivered within agreed timelines and in line with international research standards||85%||Met||Met||-|
Wheat export reform
The Wheat Export Marketing Amendment Act 2012 required the Minister for Agriculture to establish a Wheat Industry Advisory Taskforce, to examine and make recommendations to the Government and industry on issues that may affect the efficient operation of the wheat export supply chain. The department provided secretariat support to the taskforce and undertook to implement the Government's response to its recommendations.
The taskforce met five times in 2013-14 and released three discussion papers on wheat industry stocks information, grain pools as financial products and wheat export quality management practices. The taskforce completed all three inquiries, presented final reports to the Minister and released them publicly, as required by its terms of reference.
More information is available on the Wheat Industry Advisory Taskforce website.
The Wheat Export Marketing Amendment Act 2012 includes an access test that requires particular port terminal operators to have access undertakings in place with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) as a condition for exporting bulk wheat. This Act will be repealed and the test abolished on 1 October 2014, if a mandatory code of conduct for grain export terminals, approved by the minister, is in place.
The department, working with Treasury and the ACCC, released an exposure draft of the code of conduct in June 2014 for consultation with industry. We met more than 50 stakeholders and received 24 submissions on the draft code and the associated regulation impact statement.
Supporting the grains industry
Managing bumper crops
In 2013-14, Australia's total winter crop production increased by 17 per cent to an estimated 44 million tonnes; the second largest winter crop on record. This included the largest wheat crop on record.
We supported industry by providing effective market export systems for these record crops, monitoring and maintaining local port access arrangements, in addition to providing phytosanitary certification and residue testing services.
Research and development partnerships
In April 2014, the minister announced a partnership between the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and Curtin University to establish the Centre for Crop and Disease Management. This centre will undertake research and development into drought and other factors affecting the resilience of farm business to reduce the production losses caused by crop diseases.
We worked with the GRDC, industry representatives and state and territory governments to continue developing a national grains research and development framework.
International Grains Council
We supported the Australian grain industry with membership of and representation on matters relating to the operation of the International Grains Council. Department officers attended council meetings in London in December 2013 and June 2014. Effective from 1 July 2013, the council expanded its definition of grains to include oilseeds.
Australian Seeds Authority
The department signed a licence with the Australian Seeds Authority (ASA), to control seed certification in Australia for a further five years. Under this licence, the ASA is the national designated authority for Australia's participation in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development schemes for the varietal certification or control of seed moving in international trade. The ASA is also responsible for interaction with the International Seed Testing Association.