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GPA Submission to the Productivity Commission Review of Rural Research and Development Corporations

GPA recognizes and respects that there are diverging views on the best way to respond to issues around administration and oversight of the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and its accountability to levy payers generally.

GPA has been constructed with a strong focus on providing better communication and engagement of levy payers to ensure equitable outcomes for industry. The PIERD Act provides ample opportunity for levy payers to influence and effect changes to the operation of GRDC and its funding arrangements, providing the representative body is functioning properly for and on behalf of all levy payers.

In their existing form, Draft Recommendations 6.1 and 7.1 threaten the future of what has been a stable and successful rural R&D model – Australia's RDCs. GPA takes this position, not because the grains industry has a sense of entitlement to tax-payer funds, but because research indicates that the proposed funding cuts will have significant detrimental impacts on the community and environment, as well as negative flow-on effects to grain growers.

GPA asserts that the Commission has failed to prove its case or justify its recommendations. As they currently stand, with the Commission's methodology and conclusions being demonstrably unsound, the Draft Report and Recommendations are unsuitable for use by industry, research or government organizations in their policy development processes.

The Commission should not disregard the available empirical evidence regarding public benefits arising from the RDCs in order to clear the way for what should be a political decision for Government. If Government decides to cut expenditure to the RDC program, it needs to do so in the full knowledge that, (a) it is forgoing substantial public benefits; and (b) the evidence suggests the opposite course of action is most logical.

To read the full GPA response, click on the link below.

pdf (355 Kb) GPA Response to PC Draft Report on RDCs
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