The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) has rejected the Albanese Government’s proposed biosecurity protection levy, labelling it as a new tax on food and fibre.
VFF President Emma Germano said the proposed levy was unfair and would place added burden on Victoria’s agricultural industry.
“This is a fundamentally unfair tax that will needlessly increase the cost of farming, and the cost of food and fibre.”
“The Albanese Government has proven to have no understanding of the expense and effort that farmers go through to protect biosecurity on their farms.”
“Farmers are being expected to pay through the nose for something government should be doing as core business.”
Ms Germano said the proposed tax would not be feasible given the difficulty in it being levied across different commodities.
“A single tax on agricultural production is fundamentally flawed because there is no standard by which to compare the different commodities we produce.”
“Existing statutory levies paid by farmers vary. Some are paid on volume, some on value. Some industries do not even pay a levy. Basing a tax on the existing levy structure is a nonsense and completely unworkable.”
Ms Germano said the government must recognise that protecting biosecurity benefits all Australians and should focus its attention on making those who create biosecurity risk pay.
“The government is so focused on pinning the beneficiary pays principle to one sector, it has forgotten that biosecurity benefits the whole community. Everybody benefits from strong biosecurity protection whether it’s looking after our natural environment or the potential harm to human health. It is the government’s duty to protect Australia from these risks.”
“The government should stop turning a blind eye to the importers who actually create the biosecurity risk and look at ways they can make a greater contribution,” Ms Germano said.