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GRAIN CENTRAL | Biosecurity levy to cost grains $12.25M

New figures released by the Federal Government show Australian grain producers are being forced to pay 10 times more than the existing biosecurity levy that they already contribute towards biosecurity responses, initiatives, investments and partnerships.

Grain Central reported that the change in calculations from the original 10 per cent tax rate still has grains paying the lions share ($12.25 million) of the total $51.8 million to be collected off Australian agricultural producers each year, under the new GVP rate.

GPA argues the grains industry already contributes via levies towards Australia’s biosecurity.

“Grains represents the largest contributors to agricultural levies currently, with record production from in recent harvests,” GPA submission said.

GPA Chair and WA grain producer, Barry Large, said the government’s policy was fundamentally flawed and born out of a substandard ‘consultation’ process which, if judged against normal terms, would represent a loss of social licence.

“This is not about how much the levy rates are per tonne or per kilogram of farm produce – it’s all about the principle of this policy and real failures to get it right and win any support,” he said.

“There’s a vast range of fundamental flaws in its design and the most glaring fact is virtually all producers don’t trust it. A failure to conduct open and transparent consultation with the actual producers who are now being forced to pay this added levy, can’t be reversed at the last minute.

“These policy design failures are why all Lower House MPs, except Labor, stood up and did what’s right and voted against the bills that are trying to implement this new tax on farmers, by July 1.

“Our submission to this Senate Inquiry calls on the government and urges other Upper House MPs to heed the sage advice of Independent MP, Helen Haines, provided in her speech during Lower House debates, after scrutinising this policy independently on merits and listening to farmers.


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