Amadeusz Juskowiak

Official inquiry set for australian wheat industry

The governments industry aid and protection review body the Industries Assistance Commission IAC will hold a 12month inquiry into the Australian wheat industry Primary Industry Minister John Kerin said

The IAC has been asked to report on the need for assistance to the industry and the nature duration and extent of any aid he said in a statement

He said the inquiry will be the first step in setting marketing arrangements to apply after June 30 1989 when the underwriting and pricing provisions of the 1984 Wheat Marketing Act expire

Kerin said the broadranging reference would allow a full examination of all aspects of the wheatmarketing system

The inquiry will be required to take into account changes which have taken place in the industry as a result of the agricultural policies of major wheat producing countries and the industrys capacity to adjust to any recommended changes he said

The inquiry is at an important time for the wheat industry as the substantial fall in world prices is likely to trigger underwriting support from the government for the first time he said

Kerin was referring to the governments underwriting of the guaranteed minimum price paid to wheatgrowers by the Australian Wheat Board near the start of the season

The IACs report will be due at the same time as the findings of the current Royal Commission into Grain Storage Handling and Transport Kerin said

He said the timing of the IAC inquiry would allow its findings and those of the Royal Commission to be considered in later negotiations on wheatmarketing arrangements between the federal and state governments and the industry