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Infrastructure, transport and competition high on national grains agenda

23 April 2014

The National Farmers’ Federation Grains Policy Council (NFFGPC) met yesterday in Sydney, focusing on issues high on the agenda of grain growers across the country.

Interim Chair, Matt Linnegar, said that grain growers deserved a strong national voice and that yesterday was another step towards that goal.

“All members of the NFFGPC are focused on providing better representation at the national level and yesterday was no exception,” said Mr Linnegar.

Chief amongst the issues discussed included improving national infrastructure, resolving the obvious problems besetting the early stages of operation of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) and competition constraints in the sector.

“As far as NFFGPC members are concerned, the state of domestic infrastructure, including road, rail and ports, will have a direct impact on the fortunes of the grains industry in the future,” Mr Linnegar said.

“We need to ensure that government makes well-informed decisions about the level and type of investment needed—and where it is most needed—to remove bottlenecks and unleash the potential of the sector to compete internationally.

“Action must be taken to unlock potential private investment. Government thinking must also be beyond political cycles,” he said.

Members also expressed their concern about emerging anecdotal evidence on the impacts of the early stage of operation of the NHVR.

“We have applauded government efforts to remove red tape and call on government to move swiftly on early signs that the NHVR may in fact lead to increased paperwork and delays for some grain growers,” Mr Linnegar said.

The NFFGPC will meet again in June when these and other issues, including levels of competition in the grains market, will be addressed

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