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GrainGrowers welcome changes to levy legislation

Grain Central, September 15, 2016

GrainGrowers Limited has described changes passed in Federal Parliament this week, which enable Rural Research and Development Corporations to communicate directly with levy-paying grainfarmers, as a common sense move.

The Primary Industries Levy and Charges Collection Amendment Bill 2016 provides the legal basis for the establishment and use of levy payer registers by Research and Development Corporations (RDCs) such as GRDC and industry Representative Organisations (ROs).

“We welcome the successful passage of the Bill,” GrainGrowers General Manager of Policy and Innovation, David McKeon said.

“The establishment of levy payer registers is an important, common-sense step forward in providing a pathway to better ensure research, development, extension and marketing activities are meeting the needs of levy payers in the grains industry.”

GrainGrowers has been following the development of this Bill intently to ensure that it will serve the best interests of grain farmers.

“We have engaged with both the Government and Opposition, and made a submission to the earlier parliamentary inquiry into the Bill,” Mr McKeon said.

The Bill is a positive development for the grains sector.

A key use of levy payer registers will be the ability for them to be used by ROs and RDCs to undertake levy payer consultation and polls to inform major decisions affecting the expenditure of levies.

This is especially important for the grains industry, as the registers would allow for consultation and, ultimately, a poll on key issues, including whether GRDC governance should transition to an Industry Owned Company model and whether a marketing levy should be instated.

“We believe that the final decision on these issues should be determined by a poll of all grain levy payers, as this would ensure that levy payers have ownership over the decision and consequent direction of their RDC,” Mr McKeon said.

Source: GrainGrowers Limited. 

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