Business

Opposition split over wheat bill

LONG-HELD divisions between eastern sea-board and Western Australian wheat farmers have reached the halls of power, with Coalition MPs pledging to cross the floor on a bill to deregulate the wheat trade.

The Labor Government has been pushing the Wheat Export and Marketing Bill for several years. It would abolish Wheat Export Australia, which replaced the single-desk Australian Wheat Board after the wheat-for-weapons scandal.

But while eastern grain farmers largely support the deregulation of the industry, several farmer groups across New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia again voiced their concern on Friday about the lack of a suitable replacement for the WEA and did not support the bill in its current form.

Farmers on the other side of the country in WA, which face more restricted marketing and export arrangements in that state, have largely supported the bill as it stands, looking forward to the expected increase in competition in the market as a result of the bill.

But in parliament the Coalition has refused to support the Government's bill, despite its free-market ideals, on the grounds the Government has not consulted with the industry, especially with eastern growers.

This week, with parliament out of session, Coalition WA Senators and MPs returned to their electorate, with some deciding to cross the floor.

Leading the charge was regional WA MP Tony Crook, a move followed by new Liberal Senator Dean Smith, who vowed to back the Government.

With independent MP Tony Windsor to oppose the bill, a vote will come down to the decisions of other key independent MPs Rob Oakeshott and Andrew Wilkie.

Topics:  opposition, parliament




Where will 2016 sit in July Carnival history?

Hong Kong based owner Patrick Fu and his son bring back Ramornie Handicap winner Smart Volatility back to scale.

We look back at the big moments of the 2016 July Racing Carnival

NSW economy not so good according to business survey

A recent survey reveals businesses in the Northern Rivers are less optimistic on the current state of the NSW economy than earlier this year.

Survey shows Northern Rivers businesses less confident.

Latest deals and offers

Superheroes of the big screen enjoy sounds of Splendour

CHRIS Hemsworth and his Avengers mates drop by Byron festival.

Indigenous artist shows tourists secrets of Aboriginal painting

Ever thought "I could do that" about Aboriginal art?

Dynamic pics from Splendour Day 1

The Strokes perform at Splendour in the Grass 2016. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Check out the latest pictures from Splendour in the Grass.

Bindi Irwin: 18 magic photos to mark her 18th birthday

Bindi Irwin with a python.

Photos: Bindi Irwin from babyhood to 18

Aussie director makes his mark on new Roots mini-series

Malachi Kirby as Kunta Kinte in a scene from the TV series Roots.

BRUCE Beresford behind final episode of remake of iconic series.

Wham bam, thank you TAM

Regional TAM is increasing its audience measurement services by 50%.

Regional television viewers finally getting the credit we deserve

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started