Storage container availability, ESCOSA review feature of parliamentary inquiry

Dec 11, 2017

Two recommendations from the Economic and Finance Committee’s Inquiry into Issues Faced by South Australian Primary Producers have centred on the grains industry, and specifically relating to GPSA’s submission during the process.

The inquiry began in early 2017 and its final report was released last month. Its aim was to, “inquire, consider and report on the economic development of local primary producers who produce, process and manufacture in the State’s agriculture, horticulture and viticulture sectors”.

The inquiry was conducted in two parts. The first investigated issues regarding the SA supply chains that primary producers were part of while the second summarised issues raised into a paper and sought further input in specific areas.

GPSA was represented at a hearing of the committee by CEO Darren Arney, board directors Garry Hansen and Wade Dabinett, industry representatives Chris Heinjus and Mark Modra; and GPSA policy officer Shane Gale, all of whom raised several supply chain issues on behalf of grain producers, including:

  • Storage and handling and port provider that also has significant dominance in the marketing and exporting of SA grain.
  • The South Australian ports access regime.
  • Primary Industry Funding Schemes (Eyre Peninsula Grain Growers Rail Fund) Regulations 2017
  • Protected industrial action undertaken by the Maritime Union at the Flinders Adelaide container terminal.

The committee produced a report, From the paddock to the plate – a fair return for producers. Overall, the committee concluded that some SA primary producers face issues that affect their ability to supply competitively in their respective supply chains and these were centred on:

  • Inequitable commercial power.
  • Barriers to larger supply chains
  • Cost obstacles within supply chains
  • Inequitable application and operation of the Horticulture Code of Conduct and the Grocery Code of Conduct
  • Particular issues within the grain supply chain.

These issues were dealt with in the report’s 13 recommendations, including the following two recommendations for the grain industry:

In light of the evidence the Committee received from Grain Producers SA, the Committee recommends that the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure investigate the insufficient supply of 20-foot containers in the State’s grain industry.

In the Treasurer’s consideration of the ESCOSA’s Inquiry into the South Australian Bulk Grain Export Supply Chain Costs, the Committee strongly recommends that he consider the evidence received by this Committee during this Inquiry in relation to the current issues that face primary producers in the State’s grain industry.

The committee tabled its final report on Tuesday 28 November 2017 and the next step is to await responses to the recommendations from the relevant ministers within 4 months.

Visit the GPSA submission page for links to the final report and Hansard.

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