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COUNTRYMAN | Biosecurity levy stalls in the Senate as Greens pull support for Federal Labor’s ‘tax on farmers’

Greens and other crossbench Senators have refused to support the Federal Government's proposed $50 million annual biosecurity tax.

The legislation was due to be tabled in the Senate this week, but news from Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson that his party would vote against it has put a pause on Agriculture Minister Murray Watt's plans.

Senator Whish-Wilson reflected that the opposition from the agricultural sector and inadequate and rushed consultation were clear indicators that the poorly designed policy should not go ahead.

Countryman reported that Senator Whish-Wilson supported a different approach to acheiving action on biosecurity management that was fair and equitable.

Grain Producers Australia Chair Barry Large thanked Mr Whish-Wilson, crossbench Senators and members of the Lower House for their support.

“We’re thankful they’ve taken the time to listen and understand the details on why this proposal is fundamentally flawed and needed to be voted against,” GPA chair Barry Large said.

“This followed an overwhelming vote against the Bills in the Lower House where independent MPs joined with minor parties, the Greens and the Coalition to do the right thing.”

Mr Large, who farms at Miling in WA’s Wheatbelt, said GPA would continue engaging with the Government to “strengthen biosecurity in a way that’s fair and equitable”.


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