AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Grain Growers calls for separation of AWB International from parent company

<p>AWB International must be separated from its parent company, AWB Limited, to stimulate "above-rail investment" and to determine the most cost-efficient path of moving grain from field to port, the Grain Growers’ Association said today (Thursday, August 8).</p> <p>CEO Tony Eyres told the <em>Lloyd’s List DCN </em> Grain Trans conference in Sydney that there is a conflict of interest &#8211 seen by many as "untenable" &#8211 in the roles played by the two companies. </p> <p>AWB Limited is a direct investor in storage, handling and port facilities, while it also "directs traffic" on behalf of monopolistic AWB International, Mr Eyres said.</p> <p>"We see a need for a separation of AWB International from its parent company, AWB Limited, to remove conflicts between the largest customer of supply chain services now being a major competitor &#8211 with federal legislation currently supporting this conflict," he said.</p> <p>"This does not mean removing the single desk but does mean greater competition for services to that single desk, and in turn, lower supply chain costs for those delivering to the national pool for export wheat.</p> <p>"Then, and only then, will we find the real least-cost paths for moving grain from where it is produced to the market, primarily a port for export."</p> <p>The lack of transparency in AWB International’s rail freight rates and uncertainty over AWB Limited’s plans to move into other areas of the supply chain is restricting investment by competing bulk handlers, he said. </p> <br />