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awb - successful in neat high court appeal 1/1 (m)

  1. 192 Posts.
    AWB - ASX Company Announcement
    19 June 2003
    Part 1/1

    HOMEX - Melbourne
    Successful in NEAT High Court Appeal

    AWB Limited was today successful in defending an appeal by NEAT
    Domestic Trading Pty Ltd (NEAT) to the High Court of Australia, in
    relation to the refusal by AWB (International) Limited to approve a
    number of bulk permit applications to export durum.

    AWB Limited's Managing Director, Andrew Lindberg, welcomed the
    outcome as a win for all wheat growers, claiming it vindicated the
    actions of AWB (International) Limited in the permit process and the
    operation of the Single Desk to maximise financial returns to all
    wheat growers who participate in AWB National Pools.

    "The permit system is in place to ensure wheat exports do not compete
    in AWB's international markets to the detriment of the AWB National
    Pool," said Mr Lindberg.

    "AWB has a strategic marketing strategy for durum in place to ensure
    growers receive the maximum financial advantage from their product,"
    Mr Lindberg said.

    AWB (International) Limited supports flexible export arrangements
    where the single desk for Australia's wheat is not compromised.

    NEAT commenced its original action in 2000 in the Federal Court
    against the Wheat Export Authority, AWB Limited and AWB
    (International) Limited. The action related to the refusal by AWB
    (International) Limited to approve the giving of bulk-export permits
    by the WEA to six applications from NEAT (all to export durum)
    between November 1999 and February 2000.

    Mr Lindberg said through the current export system, AWB had fostered
    the growth of a national durum industry in the past five years
    underpinned by solid AWB National Pool returns for durum growers.

    Durum production had increased from about 200,000 tonnes in 1996/97
    to just under 800,000t in 2001/02. Exports over that time increased
    from just over 100,000t to about 600,000t.

    "We have forged key relationships in major markets such as Italy,
    with some of the biggest millers and pasta producers in Europe, and
    have expanded our presence in other key durum markets such as North
    Africa, all of which has added significant value for the durum
    growers of Australia," Mr Lindberg.

    AWB has also been instrumental in fostering a national durum
    industry, and has led the charge with the formation of a peak body
    the Australian Durum Industry Association - to represent the interest
    of all stakeholders.

    For more information contact Peter McBride (03) 9209 2174 or 0417 662

    ends - AAP

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