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FARM ONLINE | Import paperwork surge, shippers offer to pay farmers' biosecurity levy

New data has revealed a "significant upsurge" in import shipment paperwork awaiting approval, with the growing backlog causing "confusion and angst" amongst supply chain participants.

Meanwhile, the government has responded to months of protests by the agriculture sector by announcing alterations to its contentious Biosecurity Protection Levy "to ensure it's more equitable and more transparent."

Freight and Trade Alliance director Paul Zalai last week flagged a three-point plan he said was handed to Agriculture Minister Murray Watt that urged against the government proceeding with "the complex levy against producers."

He said the shortfall could be covered by importers through a FID fee increase in exchange for productivity improvements, more government services and regulation policing "the scourge of the incontestable Terminal Access Charge regime."

Grain Producers Australia chief executive Colin Bettles said the importers' offer to pay the $50 million levy instead of producers was "acceptance they're the actual biosecurity risk creators."


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