RGA rejects Commission of Audit recommendations

6 May 2014 4:40 PM -

The Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia (RGA) has rejected a number of the recommendations made in the Commission of Audit’s report released last week and encourages the Federal Government to do the same.

After examining the detail of the report, RGA President, Les Gordon, holds grave concerns about the impact some of the Commission’s recommendations will have on industry if they were to be implemented.

“Our primary concern is the report’s recommendation to halve the current cap on matching industry contributions to research and development (R&D) by government,” Mr Gordon said.

“This is an extremely short-sighted view. Government investment in industry R&D results in significant public benefits in our region like increased employment and infrastructure investment.”

“We are constantly being pushed to increase our productivity while at the same time reduce our water use, which we have achieved only as a result of our long-term investment in R&D. This has been successfully delivered through a partnership between industry and government,” Mr Gordon said.

The RGA is also frustrated at the suggestion government should focus on water recovery for the environment through buybacks instead of irrigation infrastructure improvements.

“The assertion that infrastructure funding only provides substantial private benefits to landholders therefore should be scrapped in favour of water buybacks which apparently maximise public benefits is just plain wrong,” Mr Gordon said.

Read the full media release here.