The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) Grains Group is disappointed that grain import permits have been granted without a definitive assessment of domestic grain stocks of comparable quality.
“Just days before the federal election, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources approved an application to import wheat from Canada. The importer claims there is not enough high protein wheat in Australia to satisfy their demand. However, other traders and growers are claiming there is enough domestic supply,” said Mr Ashley Fraser, VFF Grains Group President.
“A national stocks reporting system would stop the argument before it began. The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources could look at the data and make an informed decision about approving or rejecting import permits in a transparent marketplace.
“Australia’s biosecurity is our primary concern. There is no reason to risk introducing pests or disease through imports if domestic production can meet demand, and there is no way of knowing domestic supply without a national stocks reporting system.
“Australia is in the unique position of being a major exporter of cereal grains and oilseeds with the reputation of clean and high quality produce that contributes to our growing economy. Australia must take precautions to prevent unnecessary biosecurity threats wherever possible,” said Mr Fraser.