The Coalition’s new spokesperson on competition matters has added his endorsement to industry requests for a market study into Australia’s grain industry.
Liberal Senator for WA Dean Smith said the backbone of Australia’s hugely successful grain industry has always been a commitment by growers and Government to the principles of competition and transparency.
“The convergence of supply-chain challenges and labour shortages in the agriculture and logistics sectors, combined with the impact of war in Ukraine, makes the timing of an independent review into competition issues critical,” Senator Smith said.
“My strong preference is for the market analysis to be undertaken by the ACCC.
“The ACCC is purpose built to inquire into competition issues and the inquiry should make full use of its information-gathering powers.
“In June of 2021, the ACCC re-affirmed that Australian farmers rely more directly on the prices they receive than almost any other farmers globally, and for this reason alone the market requires more regular health checks.
“It is vital that, as Australia enjoys record grain seasons, this financial windfall is passed on to growers and the regional communities that depend on them.
“The export competitiveness of Australia’s agriculture sector has been driven by its transparency and this must continue for it to reach its remarkable potential.
“And you cannot be ambitious for Australia’s agriculture sector without also having a firm commitment to supporting the grain industry.”
Senator Smith was recently appointed Shadow Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury.