Grain Industry Consultation in Queensland
Charter for Operation of Research Advisory Committees (RACs)

Revised 24 June 2009

 1. Grains Research Foundation Limited   (GRFL)

GRFL was established on 7th December 2006 to become the replacement company for the Grain Research Foundation.(GRF). The GRF was established as a statutory authority following enactment of legislation in the Queensland Parliament in 1976. GRFL is a 'not for profit' incorporated company with limited guarantee. The assets and liabilities of GRF including the 4 RAC sub-committees were transferred to GRFL on 1st January 2007. GRF was dissolved on 1st January 2007.

   The objects of GRFL are outlined in Appendix 1

   Additional background advice on the need for the industry consultation is outlined in Appendix 2

 2. Objectives of grain industry consultation

  •  to identify Research Development and Development( RD&E) issues and priorities of the  grain industries at regional and State levels;
  •  to  identify and discuss possible strategies to address those priority issues;
  •  to enhance industry ownership of RD&E activities and projects;
  •  to alert and inform both industry and RD&E providers and funders to changes and difficulties likely to impact on grain industry RD&E activities and projects;
  •  to enhance the integration of both public and private sector RD&E resources.

 3. GRFL Research Advisory Committees (RACs)

GRFL has decided the following RACs will be established as sub-committees of GRFL:

Central Queensland
Clermont, Emerald, Springsure, Moura, Theodore, Monto, Biloela, Rockhampton and Mackay districts

South East Queensland Mundubbera,
Gayndah, Kingaroy, Gatton, Boonah, Gympie and Bundaberg districts

Darling Downs
Toowoomba, Warwick, Pittsworth, Dalby and Chinchilla districts

Western Downs & Maranoa
Taroom, Miles, Tara, Goondiwindi, St George and Roma districts

 4. RAC functions

Each RAC will provide a forum:

  • to identify and document on an ongoing basis, all RD&E priority issues for their region;

(There is a need to recognise the wider implications of these issues, to document their strategic requirements and to identify issues not recently or currently being addressed in the region).

  • to rank, as top, high  or  priority, those RD&E  issues for their region not being adequately addressed;

(There is an opportunity to suggest possible strategies for addressing priority RD&E issues and to assist other groups with advice on regional RD&E issues).

  • to communicate top,  high and  priority issues and possible strategies for addressing these issues to the GRFL and to research providers and funders;
  • to prepare an operational plan (Priority Issues Paper)  by June each year for distribution to GRFL and research providers and funders. To report quarterly to the GRFL on the operations  and effectiveness of the RAC;

(Effectiveness will be determined  in terms of the identification of issues, the communication of regional issues to the relevant bodies, and the influence these actions have had on grains RD&E  for their region).

  • to raise the profile of the RAC to enhance its recognition by regional industry bodies;
  • to facilitate and encourage links among all stakeholders in the grain industry;

(Stakeholders will include primary producers, research and extension officers, RD& E funding bodies, marketing bodies, agribusiness organizations and so on)

 5. RAC composition

  • each RAC will comprise both selected and nominated members from as wide a range of stakeholders as possible.
  •  each RAC will have 14 to 18 members plus 5 or 6 nominees, but must have more grain grower members than any other group.
  •  each RAC will have nominees from: 
    • GRFL, GRDC,QDPI, CSIRO (Plant Industry), Universities conducting RD&E in the region.

The nominees are the resource personnel for each RAC. They will also communicate RAC deliberations direct to their respective organization.

Each RAC will have the following selected members:-

  • 10 to 12 grain growers
  • 4 to 6 other members: these members provide the opportunity for other grain industry stakeholders to participate in RACs
  • Reference Group: Each RAC member is expected to network with at least 5 other growers and agri-business stakeholders.

This networking will ensure that ideas from a wider cross-section of the industry are canvassed at each meeting and provides a capacity to report back to industry colleagues after each meeting.The composition of the Selection Committee will be determined by GRFL.

 6. Term of RAC appointments

  • each member of the RAC is to be appointed for a term of three (3) years.
  • GRFL will review the operations of the RAC as and when necessary.
  • members can resign from the RAC at any time by advising the Chairman GRFL in writing of their decision and its effective date.
  • following receipt of a resignation , GRFL is to seek advice on a suitable replacement from the selection panel. That replacement is to be appointed for the remainder of the term of the RAC.

 7. Frequency of meetings

  •  each RAC will meet at least twice (2) per year. More frequent meetings can be held where necessary.   
  • in the event of a member not being able to attend a particular  meeting, a proxy can be arranged to attend  from this member's Reference Group.  

 8. Reporting and secretarial support

  • GRFL will arrange a common co-coordinator for all RAC meetings.
  • each RAC is to provide advice on RD&E priorities direct to GRFL, to RD&E providers and to funding bodies through the nominated members  on each RAC.
  • issues and priorities considered to be of State or National significance are to be reported to GRFL for its consideration after each meeting.
  • each RAC is to report to regional grain growers  by using appropriate initiativesand Agforce arranged meetings
  • Each RAC member is expected to network with colleagues in the grains industry to gather ideas on RD&E priorities and report back on the implementation of identified priorities.

9. RAC Chair

Each RAC will elect its own chair annually.

10. RAC members’ costs

Travel costs may be reimbursed but sitting fees will not be paid. Organisations with whom members are employed or affiliated may reimburse travel costs.




The Objects of the GRFL are:

  • to conduct or encourage scientific and economic research in connection with or which is likely to benefit the grain industry;
  • to train or assist to train persons for the carrying out of such research;
  • to disseminate information and advice relating to technical matters in connection with the grain industry;
  • to publish technical reports, periodicals, books and papers  in connection with the grain industries;
  • to conduct appeals for funds to assist it to carry out its functions;
  • to make donations or gifts or allocate funds to other bodies or persons for the purpose of furthering research with respect to the grain industries;
  • to promote research in the grain industries.

NOTE:  The term research in the enabling legislation covers research, development and extension activities



The major stakeholders in the grain industry research, development and extension

(RD&E) in Queensland are:

  • grain growers
  • AgForce Grains.
  • Queensland Department of Primary Industries
  • CSIRO (Plant Industry)
  • Universities particularly the University of Queensland at St Lucia and at Gatton College (UQS & UQGC)
  • agribusiness, eg seed , fertilizer, chemical , machinery companies, etc.
  • funding bodies including Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC)
  • grain marketing organizations
  • end users, eg food processors including flour millers, brewers and maltsters, feedlots and other users of stock feeds, etc.

  The dominant public sector RD&E providers are QDPI, CSIRO,UQS and UQGC. These organizations provide the bulk of funds ( around 80 per cent) for grains R&D, the remainder coming from funding sources particularly GRDC which administers funds comprising grower research levies and matching Commonwealth Government funds up to a limit of 0.5% of the gross value of the products. AgForce, QDPI, CSIRO and UQ have agreed that one industry consultative structure and process for Queensland is most desirable if not essential. This agreement ensued from several influences including :-

  • a desire for RD&E resources to be directed at key industry issues and priorities;
  • a desire to integrate RD&E  resources and encourage staff collaboration across organizations;
  • a desire to avoid duplication of activities across organizations;
  • a recognition that a number of stakeholders have administrative responsibility and/or a legislative requirement to develop and maintain strategic plans ; all require the identification of key industry issues and priorities.