Media Release

Industry engages with port access code

10 June 2014

The Australian Government is committed to a fair and consultative process to develop the draft port access code of conduct and achieve the best possible outcome for our $6.8 billion wheat exporting industry, which includes growers, exporters and service providers.

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, last week released the draft mandatory port access code of conduct for bulk wheat exports and associated regulation impact statement (RIS) for consultation.

"I acknowledge the initial interest following the release of the draft code and I encourage our stakeholders to remain involved in discussing, and refining, the draft code so it can best promote the future growth of our industry and agriculture sector," Minister Joyce said.

"We want all affected parties to know about these proposed changes and to provide feedback on what it will mean for them.

"Over the next two weeks, representatives from the Department of Agriculture will hold briefing sessions for interested stakeholders.

"The department will meet with key industry organisations including the industry Code Development Advisory Committee, the Australian Grain Exporters Association and state farming groups, in Perth, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne to seek their views.

"The draft code and RIS are available online and the department has emailed and telephoned relevant stakeholder organisations and companies, and tweeted its followers, directing people to the purpose-built webpage with all the necessary information."

Once finalised, the code will replace current requirements and will give all exporters of bulk wheat fair and transparent access to port terminal services, regardless of who owns the facility. The code would be in place for five years; following which it is intended that standard competition law would apply.

The code aims to get the balance of regulation right, without burdening the industry with unnecessary red tape, and input from affected parties is a key part of this process.

To view the code and RIS, and to find out how to make a submission, visit daff.gov.au/portcode. Submissions close at 5 pm, 24 June 2014.