Iraq to Buy 350,000 Tonnes of Australian Wheat
Iraq to Buy Up to 350,000 Tonnes of Australian Wheat
I am delighted to announce that my recent trip to Iraq with Senator Jeannie Ferris has delivered an excellent outcome for Australian wheat growers.
The Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq, Dr Ahmad Chalabi, has now confirmed that Iraq is looking to buy up to 350,000 tonnes of wheat from Australia as part of a purchase that Iraq is currently negotiating with overseas suppliers.
I am also pleased that AWB International has indicated to the Government that it will not seek to exercise its right of veto on this Iraq tender. It has confirmed that it is willing to provide access for Australian-owned grain trading companies to wheat from the National Pool on fair and reasonable terms, taking into account the benefits of retaining the Iraq market for Australian wheat growers.
The Australian Government also welcomes the advice from the three large Australian grower-owned grain companies that they intend to work in collaboration to bid for this tender. I encourage AWB International to work expeditiously with these companies to secure this opportunity for Australian wheat growers.
I emphasise that this outcome clearly reflects the importance that Iraq attaches to the strong relationship between our two countries and to the role that Australia has played in bringing freedom, democracy and good government to the people of Iraq.
I fought hard to get this deal when I met with the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq in Baghdad. The Federal Opposition criticised my trip to Iraq as a waste of time. Kim Beazley’s credibility is now buried under 350,000 tonnes of high quality Australian wheat.
The Australian Government is committed to working with the Australian wheat industry to secure our long standing markets and the best outcome for Australian wheat growers.