COMMISSION ACT — BROADACRE EXEMPTION
980. Hon ROBIN SCOTT to the Minister for Agriculture and Food:
I refer to the government's
proposed amendments to the Agricultural Produce Commission.
(1) Why was the
broadacre industry exempted from the Agricultural Produce Commission Act 1988
at the time it was passed?
(2) The APC's
position is that the broadacre exemption in the act is discriminatory, which is
why it should be removed. Is there any other reason it is now proposed to
remove the broadacre exemption?
(3) The APC
managed approximately $3.5 million in funds last year. When the broadacre
industry is worth over $6 billion in exports alone, does the minister concede
that removing the broadacre exemption could dramatically expand the operations
of the APC?
(4) If yes to (3), how does the
government plan to handle that expansion?
ALANNAH MacTIERNAN replied:
I thank the member for the question.
Agricultural Produce Commission Act was originally the Horticultural Produce
Commission Act when first introduced in 1988. This act was amended in 2001 to
broaden the scope of its application to agricultural producers, becoming the
APC act. As part of that amendment process, the broadacre exemption was also
introduced, reflecting a lack of consistent industry support at that time for
the APC to apply to the broadacre sector.
(2) During the
APC's industry consultation on this question in 2017, support for the
removal of the exemption was received from the WA Beef Council, the Sheep
Industry Leadership Council and the South East Premium Wheat Growers
Association. I was subsequently contacted by WAFarmers to indicate its strong
support for the removal of the exemption.
(3) The degree by
which the APC would expand, if at all, would depend on whether industry chose
to establish a committee, what services it chose to provide and the level of
funding collected. Any funds collected would belong to the producer committee,
not to the APC.
(4) This would be evaluated if and when the industry
chooses to establish any additional producer committees. Any activities
undertaken are managed by the producer committees themselves.