Terms of Reference
As at 29 September 2023
To provide a principal forum for the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (department) to consult with the industries involved in the export of grain and plant products.
The Committee aims to provide assurance for exporters and other stakeholders involved in the preparation of grain and plant products for exports, that their views are given due consideration before the introduction of any major policy or operational changes by the department.
The Committee seeks to harmonise department and industry systems where feasible, and implement measures, reviews and strategies in consultation with the department to ensure an efficient export regulatory system.
3. Expected deliverables
Industry representatives of the Committee are expected to:
- proactively raise issues affecting the grain, seed, fodder, nut and timber export industries
- be professional, accountable and transparent in all dealings with the Committee
- demonstrate commitment to industry by ensuring that key messages arising from discussions with the department are communicated to stakeholders and their members
- attend meetings and video/teleconferences or arrange for an alternative representative
- meet timelines for committee action items designated to them.
3.2 Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
The department representatives of the Committee are expected to:
- ensure that policies and operational procedures support the integrity and reputation of Australia’s export and certification systems for grain, seed, timber, fodder, plant products and nuts, are consistent with Australia’s obligations to the International Plant Protection Convention and are fit for purpose
- actively engage and give due consideration to all issues raised by industry members of the Committee as they relate to the export function
- be professional, accountable, and transparent in all dealings with the Committee
- maintain a strong client focus and give due consideration to all advice and issues raised by the Committee
- seek to ensure other key agencies have opportunity to be represented when whole of government issues are raised
- meet timelines for committee action items designated to them.
4. Scope and limitations
The Committee acts in a consultative and an advisory capacity and is not a regulatory approval or decision-making body.
The Committee will consider:
- strategic directions and operations for the department’s Plant Export Operations branch ensuring Australia meets its obligations to the International Plant Protection Convention.
- significant proposed changes to policy and operational procedures
- program budgets, cost recovery mechanisms and charging levels
- key program performance issues such as efficiency and effectiveness indicators
- joint industry/department market access plans and potential actions
- the effectiveness of the department and industry in meeting export requirements
- the effectiveness of the Committee and its operations as it relates to this policy
- the use of funds for specific issues of relevance to the export of grain and other plant products.
but will not consider:
- individual commercial concerns of Committee members
- provision of funds to Committee members to attend meetings of the Committee.
5. Expected lifespan
Unless otherwise determined by the First Assistant Secretary (to the Plant Export Operations branch), the Committee’s lifespan is currently indefinite but is subject to review on a three-year basis.
6. Membership and structure
The GPPEICC meeting is to be chaired by a nominated committee member, generally being the Assistant Secretary – Plant Export Operations branch, however, this may alter based on availability.
The First Assistant Secretary can also appoint the Chairperson based on advice from the Assistant Secretary – Plant Export Operations branch. The chairperson determines the Committee membership.
GPPEICC is broadly constituted to facilitate industry stakeholder views which are considered by the Committee members. Committee member must represent a:
- national body that can demonstrate representation of stakeholders from a national perspective; or
- if a national body does not exist, they can demonstrate representation of stakeholders from regional areas of eastern, northern, southern, and western areas of Australia and any areas for potential significant export opportunities or phytosanitary significance; or
- an individual with personal skills, experience, knowledge, and expertise that does not represent an organisation.
The Director of the Grain and Seed Exports Program, Plant Export Operations Branch, constitutes as a departmental Committee member.
Other departmental Committee representatives may include the director from the relevant departmental programs who can provide specialist advice to the Committee on the pertinent areas within the department.
Members’ appointments to the Committee will be for three years, at which time members may apply for reappointment. Generally, a member’s term of appointment shall not be extended beyond three terms, but the Chairperson may take into consideration reappointment beyond this term. Every three-year cycle, re-appointments and any decisions made in relation to the Committee members will be made publicly available in the form of an official announcement.
6.1. Resignation and dismissal of members
Members may resign or retire at any time, and when this occurs a temporary replacement may be appointed by the Chairperson and the Committee. GPPEICC members should advise the First Assistant Secretary and the Chairperson of their intention to retire or resign in writing through the secretariat.
The First Assistant Secretary may terminate a member's appointment to the Committee if the member:
- fails to fulfil his or her obligations as a member of the Committee
- fails to comply with confidentiality requirements or who has an undeclared conflict of interest, or
- fails to attend for three consecutive attendance days of the Committee, except with leave of absence agreed to by the Chairperson.
Additionally, where a member fails to attend two consecutive meetings without satisfactory explanation, the Committee may recommend to the Chairperson the removal of the member or representative.
The member whose appointment has been terminated may submit a written request with explanation for review to the Committee within 30 days of the decision to terminate their appointment.
The Chairperson will advise the affected member in writing of the results and any decisions resulting from the review.
7. Meeting frequency
The Committee meets a minimum of three times a year, generally in Canberra. Meetings may be held at other centres, by agreement or may be convened online as required.
Subcommittees may be formed for specific activities as agreed by the Committee. The role, membership and activities of any subcommittee will be determined by the Committee. All outcomes of such meetings will be forwarded to the Committee for deliberation. Subcommittees have no powers to make decisions but will make recommendations for consideration by the Committee.
Each subcommittee should have its own written purpose, objectives and terms of reference, with these attached to this overarching document.
Subcommittee minutes should be included in the subsequent committee meetings for information.
9. Review of terms of reference
The Committee will review the terms of reference every three years.
While membership is expected to change as the industry itself changes, it currently includes:
- Australian Fodder Industry Association: Paula Fitzgerald
- Australian Forest Products Association: Richard Hyett
- Australian Grain Exporters Council: Adrian Reginato
- Australian Grain Exporters Council: Ian Desborough
- Australian Exporters Company: Darren White
- Australian Mungbean Association: Matt Tabor
- Australian Nut Industry Council: Cathy Beaton
- Australian Oilseed Federation: Nick Goddard
- Australian Seed Federation: Katherine Delbridge
- Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia: Julie Garrard
- Grain Growers Ltd: Annabel Mactier
- Grain Producers Australia Ltd: Barry Large
- Grain Trade Australia Ltd: Pat O’Shannassy and Gerard McMullen
- Eastern bulk handlers and port operators: John Stuart
- Southern bulk handlers and port operators: Julie O’Dea
- Western bulk handlers and port operators: Rob Dickie
- Stock Feed Manufacturers' Council of Australia: Duncan Rowland
- Grains Australia Ltd: John Ackerman
For further information about the Committee, please email GPPEICC@aff.gov.au.