- Agricultural Produce Commission Amendment Bill 2021 passes both houses of Parliament
- Laws governing producer committees modernised for the first time since 2000
- Broadacre industries provided option to form producer committees
The McGowan Government's laws to strengthen the Agricultural Produce Commission have passed through State Parliament, improving the function of important producer committees around the State.
A review of the Agricultural Produce Commission Act 1988 was carried out in 2006, however, its recommendations were never implemented.
The amendments will provide the Agricultural Produce Commission with powers to monitor and audit payment of charges, to ensure producers are complying with the Act and that all funds collected are used to support industry.
Regulations will be allowed to provide for circumstances in which charges can be waived, refunded or reduced, if a producer wishes to opt out of a committee.
Amendments will also allow non-producers to be appointed to industry committees, in a non-voting capacity to provide broader expertise, and allow the Commission to use weighted voting at a poll for the establishment of a committee.
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, following a request from WAFarmers.
However, livestock enterprises on pastoral lands will continue to be excluded from the Act, following representations from some parts of the industry.
Comments attributed to Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
"Producer committees have delivered so much for growers over the past 30 years - from research into the performance of pigs after weaning to the commercialisation of the Bravo-branded apple and paying compensation to Carnarvon banana growers after cyclone Olwyn.
"We are committed to support the important work of producer committees, and these amendments deliver long-awaited improvements to their function and operations.
"The amendments will also allow broadacre farmers to form producer committees for the first time - although importantly, it will be entirely up to farmers whether to form committees or not.
"We look forward to the Agricultural Produce Commission continuing to work with industry to deliver for our growers."
Minister's office - 6552 6200