The Hon. G.G. BROCK (Frome) (14:44): My question is to the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development. Can the minister please update the house on the proposal by Long consulting regarding their grain classification project, which we spoke to the minister about at Tarlee some time ago?
The Hon. T.J. WHETSTONE (Chaffey—Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development) (14:44): I thank the member for Frome. It is an important question. I drove up to Tarlee to meet with the member for Frome and David Long to look at a proposal that had been long asked for in the grain industry. It’s about classification of grain. Over a number of years, grain growers have questioned how their grain has been classified. We all know that the classification equals the value of the grain.
For a number of years, particularly through some of the inclement weather events, we saw a lot of grain that had been downgraded. There is now an ability to look at a self-diagnosis of grain on-farm. With a lot of the technology now on harvesting equipment, they can measure the hardness of the grain and they can measure the protein. They can measure a number of the attributes of the grain before they actually put it in a truck and send it off.
Mr Long has given me a proposition to put to the grain industry, and I have done that. Submissions have been sent out to Grain Producers South Australia, the Grain Industry Trust (SAGIT) and also the Australian grain producers organisation for them to give their overview of a proposal as such. It is a good proposal. It is about value-adding a product that is going into silos and receivals that we currently see either being downgraded or being put at a very low grade.
If growers and farmers have the capacity to blend grain on-farm, it is a win-win. It is a win not only for our growers but for our local communities because, if they are returning more money for their grain, they are spending more money in their communities and they are employing more people. I commend the proposal that has been sent out to a number of organisations. It is being assessed at the moment and, as soon as I have any information, I will come back to the member for Frome.