AWB Chairman, Brendan Stewart, today welcomed the opening of the public consultation phase of the 2004 Wheat Marketing Review.
Mr Stewart commended the Independent Panel convened to undertake the Review, headed by Alice Williams, for acting quickly to open the Review to public submissions.
“The 2004 Wheat Marketing Review will be a very important assessment of the performance of Australia’s wheat marketing arrangements, including AWB International’s performance as manager, so I am pleased that the Independent Panel has acted swiftly to start proceedings,” said Mr Stewart.
“I encourage all interested parties, especially wheat growers, with an opinion on the performance of the single desk arrangements to take this opportunity to contribute before submissions close on 31 March 2004,” said Mr Stewart.
Mr Stewart said AWB would work with the Independent Panel throughout the 2004 Wheat Marketing Review and anticipated outcomes that would be beneficial to growers and the wider community.
“Recent surveys indicate that the vast majority of wheat growers across Australia support the single desk system for marketing wheat and AWB International’s management of the desk” said Mr Stewart.
“So I sincerely hope that all contributions to the Review are constructive and not designed to undermine or circumvent the future operation of the single desk.
“AWB will welcome any recommendations that help us meet our objective of providing the greatest possible return to wheat growers who deliver to the National Pool,” said Mr Stewart.
Mr Stewart said he was confident that the performance of AWB in managing the single desk had delivered benefits to Australian wheat growers and the community, but it was always open to suggestions for improvement.
“We look forward to outlining our views to the Review Panel within the submission time frame.
“As the outcomes of the Review will greatly affect wheat growers and their communities, I am also hopeful that many public submissions will be lodged with the Wheat Marketing Review Secretariat by the deadline on the 31 March 2004,” said Mr Stewart.