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COUNTRYMAN | DAFF casts doubt on container 'tax' proposal as Senate inquiry into biosecurity levy continues

Suggestions by agricultural industry groups that importers, as risk creators, should take on the cost of biosecurity protection have been squashed during public hearings for the Senate inquiry into the proposed biosecurity levy.

The concept, which was floated by a number of groups including Grain Producers Australia, was also raised by National Farmers' Federation and Cattle Australia.

Countryman reported that Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry representatives to the hearings "poured cold water" on the idea, citing it would potentially damage trading relationships.

GPA Chief Executive Officer Colin Bettles appeared before the inquiry hearings and said grain producers were being incorrectly labelled as the sole beneficiaries of good biosecurity preparedness.

“GPA has long supported a move to introduce a container levy ... so the risk creators can contribute more to shared responsibility and accountability,” he said.

“This was also advocated and supported in the 2022 Senate biosecurity inquiry.”


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