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B2004/31 - Nationals Senate team pledges single desk security

The Nationals Senate team tonight lined up one after another to pledge their strong support for maintenance of single desk selling arrangements for Australian wheat.
The tabling tonight of the Wheat Export Authority Annual Report for 2003 provided the opportunity for all three Nationals Senators, speaking consecutively in the Senate, to make their pledges to the future of the single desk.

Senator Julian McGauran spoke first, outlining the importance of the single desk to Australian wheat growers.

“It has been clearly shown that the single desk provides a better deal for Australian farmers and The Nationals intend to make sure it stays in place with our support.

“For as long as our industry wants it and is reaping its benefits, the single desk will stand like the Rock of Gibraltar,” Senator McGauran said.

Nationals Senate Leader, Ron Boswell, stressed the financial benefits of the single desk.

“A report released last week from the AWB shows that single desk selling arrangements delivered an average premium across all grades of $13 per tonne,” Senator Boswell said.

“This means that, on the current pool of about 19 million tones, this premium has the potential to deliver more than $250 million extra, back into the hands of Australian farmers,” he said.

If the jury was still undecided on The Nationals position, Senators Macdonald and Boswell’s identical summing up of their defence of the single desk made it easy to reach a verdict.

“As long as there is The Nationals, there will be a single desk,” Senators Macdonald and Boswell concluded.


Media Contact - Paul Leven 02 6277 3244