GrainGrowers’ National Policy Group Meeting Update
28 – 29 June 2023
Items on the agenda included proceedings with the recently announced Biosecurity Protection Levy, developments related to advocacy efforts toward improved road funding, farm inputs, workforce and land use issues among others. The group also received briefings from Bayer and CropLife Australia, Cotton Australia and Australian Crop Breeders on the topics of agvet chemicals, spray drift and the End Point Royalty system respectively.
The NPG discussed the current environment surrounding workforce, industrial relations and skills. GrainGrowers has been advocating for a fair and safe work environment, with the appropriate policy settings that allow the talent within the grains industry to reach its potential. The NPG further discussed some of the impacts experienced by the grains workforce due to issues such as housing shortages and a lack of social services such as childcare and healthcare in rural communities.
The NPG were given an update on the latest developments in biosecurity, with a particular focus on the recently announced Biosecurity Protection Levy. The NPG were briefed on GrainGrowers’ latest advocacy efforts in this space, and discussed the need to ensure a transparent and accountable levy payment system both for levy-payers and beneficiaries. The NPG also received briefings from Plant Health Australia (PHA) and Grain Producers Australia on the role of PHA in biosecurity and its work.
Discussion with Cotton Australia
The NPG had the opportunity to hear from Cotton Australia on the topic of phenoxy herbicide drift, with a particular focus on impacts due to spray drift observed in the field following a wet season. The NPG further discussed ‘best practice’ options for the industry to ensure crop losses and disputes are minimised moving forward.
Discussion with Australian Crop Breeders
Australian Crop Breeders provided the NPG with an overview of Australia’s End Point Royalty (EPR) system and the benefits that have been gained from active re-investment in plant breeding. The discussion had a focus on further improvements to ensure our EPR system remains fair and productive for all parties involved.
Land Use issues
Urban encroachment, mining and renewable energy developments all increasingly contributing to conflicting land uses for prime agricultural land. The NPG discussed the broad range of issues faced by growers on this topic and supported the development of a national land use policy to ensure prime agricultural land remains sustainable and arable for future generations.
GrainGrowers’ Vietnam Delegation
Vietnam is a critical and growing market for Australian grain. GrainGrowers hosted a delegation to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in March 2023, with the attendance of members of the NPG. The NPG discussed key learnings from their experiences and discussions with a with a variety of maltsters, flour mills, brewers and grain traders while on the delegation, and noted the importance of fostering a positive trade environment with Australia’s global grain markets.
The NPG will continue to meet virtually over the coming months with the next face to face meeting planned for September 2023. GrainGrowers would like to thank the NPG for their contributions. For further information about any of the issues discussed or to provide feedback, please get in touch at email@example.com or (02) 9286 2000.
Interested in joining the NPG?
Applications for the Western Region NPG representatives open on 21 September. Growers in WA and SA are encouraged to apply! Please keep an eye out for updates in e-news and the website.