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Grain Producers Australia has reaffirmed strong opposition to the proposed Biosecurity Tax saying the policy still fails to pass the fairness and equity tests.

This is despite recent adjustments; including moving away from a 10 per cent rate to one based on GVP calculations for government collecting payments across all agricultural producers.

The bill to try to introduce the new tax by July 1 is under debate in federal parliament this week and progressing, despite being vehemently opposed by all farmer groups, in one shape or another.

This is coinciding with GPA members also holding meetings in Canberra with federal representatives, urging them to stand up for what’s right and vote against the fundamentally flawed proposal.

GPA Chair and WA grain producer, Barry Large, said this week’s engagement included GPA grower representatives meeting with Agriculture Minister, Murray Watt, to directly advocate the concerns of their grower members on the biosecurity tax, and other current priorities.

“Our producer members are the ones being hit with this additional biosecurity tax and cost of doing business that’ll see funds going straight into consolidated revenue,” he said.

“We appreciated being able to put forward our forthright concerns directly to the Minister and we thank him for this opportunity.

“But we remain unwavering in our commitment to have this fundamentally flawed policy scrapped.

“We urge all members of parliament to take time to listen to, and understand, the wide range of concerns expressed by so many different producers and their representatives – not just grains.”

Pic: GPA Board and Policy Council Members in Canberra this week.

Mr Large said this week’s agenda in Canberra included the GPA Policy Council meeting being held with state farming groups’ grains leaders, who also took the opportunity to advocate against the biosecurity tax with federal representatives.

He said Policy Council also heard from the Freight and Trade Alliance and Australian Peak Shippers Association about their three-point plan they’ve submitted to government where they acknowledge that as the biosecurity risk-creators they in fact should pay the $50 million to be raised by the tax for government revenue, instead of producers.

“This proposal for risk-creators to pay the $50 million through increased import charges, in exchange of efficiency improvements that benefit the entire economy, is a potential good news story for the government, allowing them to drop the biosecurity tax that so many farmers oppose,” he said.

“This adds to the chorus of opponents speaking out against this tax, including independent analysis by the Productivity Commission, the Australian National University and Office of Impact Analysis.”

Mr Large said producers already pay hundreds of millions of dollars each year in various levies – not just biosecurity – which deliver many public good benefits, including environmental gains and increased tax generation, for example.

“Despite repeated requests we are yet to see any economic modelling on this so called ‘sustainable’ funding model and biosecurity tax, to provide proper scrutiny and transparency,” he said.

“Especially why producers are considered the only ‘beneficiaries’ of biosecurity who should pay this new tax, and not others across the supply chain who we know also benefit, from the paddock through to consumers.


“We’re also still in the dark on specific details such as how much more individual grain producers will be asked to pay via this new tax.

“Asking producers how we can spend our current levies better, to deliver more value, would have been a much better starting point, for developing good policy with an actual, lasting solution.

“Adding another tax on farmers when we’re in the middle of a cost of living crisis and being asked to producer food more cheaply for Australian consumers, whilst the farmers’ share of the retail dollar is getting tighter, also makes absolutely no sense and is simply unfair.”

Mr Large said GPA also urged cross-bench Senators to take time to understand the details of why many farmers collectively oppose this bill; especially those hit hardest by Varroa.

He said at the absolute barest minimum, the process of gaining proper basic transparency on the government’s policy also needs to be supported by a Senate Committee inquiry, so questions can be asked and answered, assuming it passes the House of Representatives.

GPA’s 2024 Grower Policy Survey Results also indicated continued opposition to the biosecurity tax, and support for growers being able to have a direct say in the rate of current levies they pay – not only for biosecurity – to ensure they are fit-for-purpose and delivering optimal value.


GPA Policy Council Meeting – Grower Priorities – Canberra 2024

  • Grains Sustainability – Renewable Fuels, Land Access, Sustainable Aviation Fuels and ISCC Certification Scheme

  • Optimising Efficiencies in the National Grains Supply Chain

  • Progress of Wheat Port Code Review

  • GRDC RD&E Investment Presentation: focus on Spray Drift and National Grower Network review

  • GPA Pesticides and Technology Sub-committee: focus on improving mouse control management and strategy to maintain timely access to crop protection products, APVMA reviews etc.

  • GPA Biosecurity Committee: focus on Biosecurity Tax, Freight and Trade Alliance three-point plan and Grains Biosecurity Plan

  • End Point Royalties and need for buyers to collect at the first point of sale via an auto-deduct system

  • GPA Review of Grain Levies: where to now and use of GRDC grower levy-payer register Next Meeting:

GPA AGM: Monday 29 July (Melbourne)

GPA Policy Council: Monday 29 & Tuesday 30 July (Melbourne)

AGIC – Wednesday 31 July & Thursday 1 August (Melbourne)



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