WAFarmers’ Grains section made a submission on the “Review of Structural Governance Options for the GRDC” to Marsden Jacobs Associates on July 21.
WAFarmers supports the transitioning of GRDC into an industry-owned corporation (IOC; limited by guarantee model), provided that the new structure is sound and robust, and maintains a clear vision which continues to promote a profitable and sustainable grains industry into the future.
The drawbacks of the current system are:
- The uncertainty associated with a change in the current Acts and the unknown impact this will have on growers
- No growers (levy payers) have any input in regards to selecting members onto the GRDC panel.
WAFarmers supports the view put forth by Marsden Jacobs, that in the longer term (and dependent on the way the GRDC is restructured), changing into an IOC is “likely to provide a better vehicle for growers to achieve their RDE needs”. However, WAFarmers also understands that there are possible downsides for transitioning into an IOC, including time and costs involved, and the potential risk of unmanageable factional influence (or politicisation).
WAFarmers hopes that the board of the GRDC will look favourably on the review by Marsden Jacobs and will act on behalf of recommendations from growers. While WAFarmers is supportive of a transition into an IOC, the potential downsides cannot be ignored and must be addressed well in advance of changes to governance structure of the GRDC in order for growers to be fully supportive of any transition.