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Last week GPA appeared at the Senate inquiry hearing into the federal government’s Biosecurity Tax and gave strong evidence as to why this fundamentally flawed policy needs to be dropped.

This inquiry resulted from the vote in the Lower House last month where all MPs, except Labor, voted against this new levy/tax and demanded it be properly scrutinised.

This examination by the Senate Rural Committee allows Upper House members to question the actual details, as the government seeks to implement this new levy/tax by July 1.

Given the clearly overwhelming opposition by all producer representatives in one shape or another, and the fact it resulted from a poor consultation process to start with, which created the fatally flawed policy design, the government and Agriculture Minister, Murray Watt, now has an opportunity to do the right thing and scrap this toxic tax. 

Some may say this is only a few cents per tonne or kilogram, but that’s not the issue and is really just a political diversion and distraction from the truth.

This is all about the principles of the matter and subsequent failure to win any support – including from the actual producers being forced to pay it, their representative groups, policy experts and so far anyone else in Federal Parliament, but Labor.

It’s not only about the principles of the existing producer levy system, where producers pay significant sums in levies off their incomes to deliver not only shared biosecurity outcomes but also shared benefits for the environment and economy – but also the failure to properly consult with growers in an open and transparent way, before this new levy/tax was announced in last year’s budget, blindsiding everyone.

As we’ve done from the start, GPA will continue to advocate strongly against this flawed policy which still fails to pass the fairness and equity tests. Media coverage HERE 


With the season starting in very dry conditions in WA, and after a tough season the year before, GPA is holding an event with the local farming and business community in Moora later next month, timed to coincide with the end of seeding.

GPA’s National Mental Health Ambassador, Brad Hogg, will be at the Moora Chamber of Commerce for a special sundowner, to give local community members an opportunity to support each other during this challenging period. 

Brad’s work as our National Ambassador is supported by NuFarm, Rural Aid, GrainGrowers and Lifeline, with about 20 different community events held across the nation last year including many of them shared with our State Members.

These local events are also supported professionally by members of Rural Aid’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Team – we encourage those in the area to get along, take time off after seeding and enjoy the break, at this free event. 

Event details: 

What: An evening with Brad Hogg. 

Where: Moora Performing Arts Centre, Padbury Street, Moora. 

When: Thursday 30 May, from 5-8pm.  

RSVP: 0428 511 268  

More information available via  

Mental Health Resources: HERE 


This month has also been active for GPA’s advocacy work on the APVMA and ensuring growers can access the tools and products they need, when they need them.

We welcome Minister Watt’s response to the ‘rapid review’ of the APVMA and we look forward to remaining engaged with him and the government, on these important discussions.

We’ll continue to watch this space very closely and any positive reforms, to ensure the regulator’s culture and performance can meet the standards required, following science and evidence-based decision-making, to support growers and our needs.  

I wish everyone the best with their seeding programs this year and as always, feel free to make contact with me directly, or any of our board representatives, or your local state members, to let us know your views on what’s important for growers and our industry. 


Experienced journalist and agricultural communicator Rachael Oxborrow joined the GPA team last month bringing with her a background of working in media, advocacy and policy.

Rachael has a strong connection to grain growing, having been born and bred on a property in rural South Australia and is passionate about supporting the grains industry to access new technologies, improve market accessibility and advancing research outcomes to boost farm gate returns. 

Her professional experience includes working for rural and agricultural newspapers in South Australia and Western Australia, for the GRDC and with AgCommunicators.

This article first appears in GPA's monthly Grain Grabs newsletter. Stay up to date with GPA news by subscribing below.


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