Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan has welcomed the Standing Committee on Legislation’s report into the Agricultural Produce Commission Amendment Bill 2019, which recommends the Bill be passed.
Last year, the McGowan Government introduced to Parliament amendments to the Agricultural Produce Commission Act 1988 to modernise and improve the operations of producers’ committees.
The amendment bill includes a provision to allow broadacre cropping and grazing industries to take advantage of the opportunities offered by producer committees, if they chose to do so.
The Standing Committee of Legislation’s report into the amendment bill recommends that the Bill be passed, noting that its enactment would not automatically result in producers’ committee charges being imposed on broadacre cropping and grazing producers.
To provide full clarity on the intention of the Bill, the State Government will move an amendment to ensure grazing and fodder production activities on pastoral leases are not subject to the removal of the exclusion of broadacre cropping and grazing industries.
As stated by Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
“WAFarmers – the peak industry body – requested the State Government amend the Agricultural Produce Commission Act 1988 to allow broadacre farmers the opportunity to form producer committees.
“As we have always said, this is an entirely voluntary process – a producer committee cannot be formed and a levy cannot be imposed without the support of a majority of growers in a formal voting process.
“To provide absolute clarity to the pastoral sector, we will look to move an amendment to expressly rule out grazing and fodder production activities on pastoral leases from the Agricultural Produce Committee Act.
“With the Standing Committee on Legislation recommending support for the Bill, we would urge the Opposition parties and crossbench to work with us to pass this legislation and modernise our producer committees.”