Supporting a level playing field for South Australia’s grain industry
Viterra has released a podcast that explores how South Australian growers are being disadvantaged by the current application of the Port Terminal Access (Bulk Wheat) Code of Conduct (“the Code”) and the benefits that would flow to growers with exemption.
Reducing the regulation through exemption would be beneficial for South Australian growers as it would:
The podcast examines the significant impact the Code has on growers and the SA grain industry.
Viterra Regional Director Australia and New Zealand Tim Krause is interviewed about why the Code was introduced as a transition from the single desk, how the Code affects South Australian growers and Viterra’s application to the the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for exemption.
Charles River Associates economist Dr Chris Pleatsikas, an internationally recognised competition economist, speaks about his analysis of the Code and key findings about what an exemption would mean for South Australia.
The Port Terminal Access (Bulk Wheat) Code of Conduct (Code) was introduced in 2014 to ensure Australian grain port terminal operators provide fair and open access of their facilities to all grain exporters.
Since the Code was introduced in 2014, the environment has changed significantly and the high level of regulation of the Code is no longer required.
The Code, which is administered by the ACCC, has two tiers of regulation, with the majority of Australian port terminal operators exempted from most of the regulatory requirements.
Exempt service providers are ‘exempted’ from having to comply with Parts 3 to 6 of the Code and remain subject to only Parts 1 and 2 of the Code, resulting in a lower level of regulation. It is a significant advantage to be classified as an exempt service provider because of the reduced regulatory burden and cost, and greater efficiency and flexibility.
Viterra is the only port operator in Australia subject to the full requirements of the Code for all of its port terminals. There are 26 operational bulk wheat port terminals in Australia, only nine are subject to the Code’s full requirements, and six of these are Viterra’s SA terminals. This uneven playing field creates burden and costs that are ultimately being borne by SA growers.
Viterra has requested the ACCC exempts its port terminals. Our exemption application is currently being considered by the ACCC.
The benefits of reducing regulation
An independent report undertaken by leading international economics consultancy firm Charles River Associates (CRA) supports the exemption. The report analyses the competitive environment for supply chain and port terminal operators. It also explores the benefits of exemption for growers and all participants in the SA grain industry.
Reducing regulation at Viterra’s port terminals will enable growers to compete on a more even playing field both internationally and domestically. It will reduce costs through improved supply chain efficiencies; and encourage increased investment by industry participants as a result of greater operational certainty.
There will continue to be competing supply chain and port terminal providers and there will continue to be a competitive market for the purchase of grain in SA.
Key findings from the independent report include
View the Charles River Associates Report.