tendered on 24/3/06

Cole Inquiry – Draft Statement of Contrition

Andrew Lindberg

1. As a result of the Volker inquiry into the OFF Program AWB accepts
that in paying money for inland transportation and after sales service
it paid money to the Iraq government in contravention of the UN

2. Even though there were warning signs to some employees that this may
have been occurring AWB did not challenge these payments and was not
alert to the potential consequences of making these payments. For this
we are truly sorry and deeply regret any damage this may have caused to
Australia’s trading reputation, the Australian government or the United

3. AWB in pursuing its constitutional requirement to maximise returns
to the Australian farmer in selling their wheat took a commercial and
technical compliance approach to the UN sanctions but failed to
consider the broader purposes of the UN sanctions. This was a failure,
at the time, of the culture, systems and procedures which the Company
deeply regrets and is committed to continuing to improve.

4. Even though the transaction concerning BHP Petroleum in recovering
payment for a prior wheat shipment was well intentioned and AWB
believed complied with the UN sanctions, it should not have occurred
without specific authorisation of the Australian government and the
United Nations. AWB regrets this did not occur.

5. Even though AWB relied on the United Nation’s supervision and
authorisation of each contract the Company should have established its
own internal systems of checks and balances such that it did not
participate (and may have even aided stopping) the systematic and
widespread abuse of the OFF program. We deeply regret and apologise for
not having done so.

6. While AWB can ex-post rationalise its participation in the OFF
Program and claim it did not have the benefit of hindsight or the
complete picture this does not excuse what occurred and is not offered
as an excuse. We simply should have done better; and I am deeply sorry
we didn’t.

Peter Fray

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