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FARM ONLINE | Rushed, clumsy, inequitable: biosecurity protection levy under farmer fire in Senate hearing

Flawed structural and design issues with the Federal Government's proposed Biosecurity Protection Levy (BPL) were highlighted by producer groups appearing at Senate inquiry public hearings this week.

Farm Online reported the overwhelming opposition from representative groups and concerns that significant operational details remained unclear, particularly around the levy's collection, just 68 days from its proposed July 1 introduction.

During the public hearings, Grain Producers Australia chief executive Colin Bettles reiterated a key point from the GPA inquiry submission, the government had so far failed to establish why the funds were not coming from general tax revenue or fully identified any value proposition the levy held for farmers.

"Since the budget announced this new levy proposal in May last year, GPA has called for more details and clarity, to try to understand how this policy impacts our members, and whether it’s actually fair and equitable," he said.

"This announcement completely blindsided GPA and our members, with our Chair Barry Large stating at the time ‘the devil’s in the detail’ of this move to impose a new levy on all grain growers.

"It was impossible to believe that this funding to be taken directly off farmers and redistributed into government consolidated revenue was in fact ‘modest’ or part of a ‘sustainable’ biosecurity funding model."


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