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FARM ONLINE | Biosecurity shock as crossbench declares intention to vote down levy

Crossbench Senators have reportedly committed to vote down the biosecurity levy.

Farm Online reported late on the day the legislation was due to appear in front of the Senate, that members of the crossbench, including the Greens and independent senators David Pocock (Canberra) and Jacqui Lambie (Tasmania), that they were planning to oppose the bill to implement the levy.

The information was announced by National Farmers Federation (NFF) just hours bill was delayed on May 14 and it remained unclear whether it would be tabled on May 15 or if the government would withdraw it.

Grain Producers Australia has remained strongly opposed to the biosecurity tax since it was announced in the 2023 budget.

GPA Chair Barry Large welcomed the news and a commonsense response from the crossbench.

"We'd like to thank and acknowledge the Australian Greens and agriculture spokesperson Senator Peter Whish-Wilson for their leadership and support, in listening to Australian farmers and the concerns we've raised, to ultimately opposing the biosecurity tax and scrap it," he said.

"Along with other Senators including David Pocock and the Coalition members we're thankful that they've taken time to listen and be pragmatic to take time to understand the details on why this proposal is fundamentally flawed and needed to be voted against.

He said the Senators' decision to oppose the bill followed an overwhelming vote against it in the lower house where independent MPs joined with minor parties, the Greens and the Coalition in voting it down.


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