Article – Farmers highlight red-tape to a government 'white paper' on agricultural competitiveness

24 March 2014
Lucinda Jose
ABC Rural

Farmers in Western Australia are contributing to a government white paper on how to increase farm gate profits.

The Federal Government’s Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper is taking submissions from 35 regional communities and capital cities.
It’s hoped the White Paper will help Government re-think existing policies and create new ones to make sure Australia’s agriculture sector remains a significant contributor to the economy and local communities.
The task force dropped in to Bunbury, Katanning, Perth and Geraldton last week for the intensive public consultation process.
Pastoralist Michael Trant attended the Mid West forum and says he’s concerned about red tape and the way the industry is run.
“We mainly brought up government over-regulation of industry, predominantly to do with the new ESCAS system involved in the live exports industry, that has completely nailed our business. So we were given the opportunity to come down and tell them what we thought about it,” he says.
“The whole theme was about over-regulation.”
“What we were putting forwards, we were using ESCAS as an example. But it wasn’t just that, it’s all the fees and charges that abattoirs face and how all these costs are getting passed down the line onto producers. Same as everything, costs only go one way; they go downhill not up hill.”
The taskforce will be back in Western Australia on Wednesday and Thursday this week, when they will be in Kununurra.
The hearings run until the middle of April.
Written submissions can be lodged.
Courtesy of ABC Rural