By Boyd Champness

AUSTRALAN grain growers will have to wait until next year before they can take advantage of the proposed national multi-peril crop insurance scheme.

Richard Maltby, chairman of the working party examining the feasibility of a plan, has cast doubt on a scheme being in operation within the next few months.

Speaking to The Weekly Times newspaper, Mr Maltby said he was confident a scheme would eventually be established but believed it could not be implemented in a hurry.

“It is just too complex, and a lot of work needed to be done in developing the product for farmers,” he told the paper.

Federal Agriculture Minister Mark Vaile supports the introduction of a national insurance scheme to replace the Governments exceptional circumstances assistance scheme, which is seen by many as unfair and too bureaucratic.

For many years Australian farmers have been jealous of their North American counterparts who have had adequate crop insurance schemes to cover them against volatile weather.

  • Farmers to insure against Australias natural disasters, FWi, 15 March, 1999