среда, 29 февраля 2012 г.

Fed: Nationals rally to save single desk

AAP General News (Australia)
Fed: Nationals rally to save single desk

CANBERRA, Dec 19 AAP - Nationals Queensland senators Ron Boswell and Barnaby Joyce
will attend a crisis meeting of wheat growers in the NSW town of Narrandera tomorrow to
show support for AWB's monopoly marketing system.

The discredited AWB's exclusive monopoly - or single desk - is in jeopardy with dozens
of companies likely to be given the go ahead to export wheat outside of AWB's control.

The Wheat Export Authority has received 44 applications to export wheat to 20 nations.

The rush for export licences follows the damaging Iraq kickbacks scandal which found
monopoly wheat exporter AWB had paid almost $300 million in kickbacks to the regime of
former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in return for access to the lucrative Iraqi wheat

Following the Cole inquiry into the affair, the government stripped AWB of its power
to veto export applications and handed it for six months to Agriculture Minister Peter

However, Nationals like Senator Boswell and Senator Joyce warn the end of the single
desk will leave Australian growers unable to compete against bigger wheat producing countries.

Senator Boswell said the rally would send a clear message from growers to the government,
telling them to keep the single desk.

"Even today, I am getting a clear message from growers on the ground throughout the
country that they want the single desk maintained," he said in a statement.

"Barnaby and I will be adding the message that we get from the Narrandera meeting in
to what we are hearing and taking it right back to the government."

He said the single desk system had underpinned the strength of Australia's wheat industry
and provided a defence against high subsidising competitors, in countries like the US
and in the European Union, for the past 80 years.

However, critics like Liberal MP Wilson Tuckey warn the government will effectively
be giving the nod to corruption if they allow AWB to retain its veto power.

AAP nb/sb/jt/cdh


2006 AAP Information Services Pty Limited (AAP) or its Licensors.

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