Farmers celebrate GrainCorp verdict 

LOCAL farmers have expressed their delight with the federal government's decision to reject the foreign takeover of GrainCorp.

Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey decided it was not in Australia's best interest to allow the national grains handling company to be sold to US giant Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) for $3.4 billion.

Rankins Springs wheat farmer and former NSW Farmers Association executive, Jock Munro, said Friday's decision was momentous.

"This was the right decision because we couldn't allow a monopoly handler with so much control of the ports and the upcountry storages to go into overseas hands," Mr Munro said.

"Growers at large should also be happy with the way the National party have been able to leverage the Liberals and Michael McCormack should be congratulated for lobbying so hard on this issue.

"ADM doesn't have a good reputation and no doubt they would have made as much profit out of the growers as they could have."

Mr Munro was not entirely pleased ADM were given the option to purchase 24.9 per cent of Graincorp's stock, but was confident they wanted the whole company or nothing.

"Since deregulation of single desk there has rightly been widespread concern from the community about more of the grain industry going into foreign hands," he said.

"You need to remember the infrastructure was virtually built by growers out of handling levies, it was bad enough to see the system go private but it would have been a huge blow if it went offshore.

"I'm of the view the growers may eventually end up owning GrainCorp again, which would be the best outcome as we need more grower control and grower equity."

Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the National party, Warren Truss, said he agreed with the government's strong support of foreign investment but not all foreign takeovers were in the national interest.

"The Australian grain industry must now get on with building a strong future for itself and growing its export markets across the globe," Mr Truss said.

"I welcome the fact that Australia will continue to have a major locally-owned company dedicated to furthering the interests of the Australian industry."

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