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FARM ONLINE | Biosecurity levy opposition unites Australian farming groups

SUBMISSIONS to the consultation process on the federal government's 10 per cent biosecurity tax demonstrate a rare form of collective strength and solidarity of views across Australian agriculture stakeholders.

Farm representatives have consistently objected to this flawed policy proposal - be it grains, livestock, horticulture, seafood or forestry - that's trying to impose an additional 10pc charge on agricultural levy-paying producers, by July 1 next year.

Most contributors to the 'Have your Say' process have called it a tax that severely contradicts and undermines trust and confidence in the existing ag-levy system. A system where most producers already make significant, direct financial contributions - as do Grain Producers Australia's members.

Producers who already do the heavy lifting on biosecurity will be further penalised due to the inequities of a flawed taxation proposal that's merely a glorified cost-shifting mechanism.

Agriculture Minister, Murray Watt, and senior officials from his department answered questions at Senate estimates hearings in Canberra recently, and admitted to the consistency of industry's opposition towards this new 10pc levy/tax.

This questioning showed 92 responses have been received so far, and 61 meetings held, during the consultation process.

Of these 92 submissions; 19 are from individual producers; 58 from industry representative bodies; seven from biosecurity interest groups; and eight from the general public.

GPA's evaluation of the 30 published submissions on the department's website shows farmer representatives share common views and collective concerns about the proposal's flaws.


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