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Don't Forget the Future of Grains Farmers in AWB Matter

12 February 2006

“THE National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) will not comment on the actions of AWB until the Cole Inquiry has finalised its deliberations,” NFF President, Mr Peter Corish said today.

“It should be recognised that the purpose of the Cole Inquiry is to examine AWB’s actions and not Australia’s grain marketing arrangements.

“Despite this, politicians, media and other commentators are engaged in a discussion on broader grains industry issues.

“In that regard, NFF believes no decision on Australia’s grain marketing arrangements should be made until the Cole Inquiry is complete and recommendations have been made. Then any discussions, and potentially any decisions, must hold the interests of grains farmers as the priority.

“All parts of the grains industry, including farmers, must be involved in any decision making process, to ensure this important agricultural export industry is viable and globally competitive.

Mr Corish said that NFF strongly believes farmers must be centrally involved in any decisions on their industry’s future.

“Internationally, some are using the current situation to attack Australian grains’ farmers marketing arrangements, claiming they distort trade. These organisations should take a good look in their own backyard before they criticise others,” Mr Corish said.

“The very organisations making these attacks are protected by serious trade distortions in their own countries. They should think about this in particular, the next time they board a plane to a World Trade Organisation meeting,” Mr Corish concluded.

[ENDS]

Media Enquiries: Emma Keogh on (02) 6273 3855 or 0408 448 250.

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