Biosecurity Protection Levy

On 28 February the Government tabled a package of Bills in the House, intended to raise $50 million from producers as part of the revised biosecurity protection levy.

Agriculture (Biosecurity Protection) Levies Bill 2024

Agriculture (Biosecurity Protection) Charges Bill 2024

Agriculture (Biosecurity Protection) Levies and Charges Collection Bill 2024

While the Charges Bill helpfully has a section called “Rate of the biosecurity protection charge”, the section states “The rate of a biosecurity protection charge is the rate specified in, or worked out in accordance with, the regulation.”  And you guessed it – the “regulation” hasn’t been drafted yet.

We are now three weeks post the announcement by Minister Watt that the method for collection the biosecurity protection levy has changed from being applied to our levies and charges, to now being a percentage of our industry contribution to the overall GVP – yet the government cannot tell us how much money our industry will be contributing.

There are eleven sitting days remaining before the biosecurity protection levy is due to commence, so the government will need to secure passage through the Senate in that time.  Australian Grape & Wine are meeting with crossbench and Coalition senators to express our opposition to the proposal and encourage them to vote against the legislation.

There is widespread opposition to the Biosecurity Protection Levy – from farming groups, to the Productivity Commission and the Crawford School of Public Policy at ANU.  The Freight & Trade Alliance and the Australian Peak Shippers Association have proposed a model for collection by adding a $15 charge to the Full Import Declaration (FID) collected by Customs that would raise the same amount of money and take the administrative burden off producers, which we believe warrants further consideration by government.  This proposal is similar to the Container Charge proposed earlier in the debate, but the charge would apply to each consignment as opposed to each individual container.

Australian Grape & Wine have been invited to be on the Sustainable Biosecurity Funding Advisory Panel and will ensure the voices of grape growers and winemakers continues to be heard in Canberra on this issue of critical importance to our members.

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