Subject: Agriculture (Biosecurity Protection) Levies Bill 2024 and related bills.

The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) welcomes the opportunity to provide the following submission to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee’s inquiry into the Agriculture (Biosecurity Protection) Levies Bill 2024 [Provisions] and related bills.
The AFPA and our members remain unequivocally opposed to the introduction of the government’s Biosecurity Protection Levy (BPL) and its enabling legislation. Key reasons for AFPA’s objections to the BPL are listed below, with further reasons and supporting details provided in our submission. Namely the proposed BPL

  • will not result in sustainable funding for biosecurity, as funds collected are not hypothecated to biosecurity (going to consolidated revenue) and may be re-directed to other priorities at any time.
  • does not account for the forest sector already funding biosecurity both as a taxpayer and through existing Agricultural levies. The BPL effectively taxes primary producers again.
  • is a tax as that does not meet fundamental criteria of Agricultural levies.
  • does not reflect “shared responsibility” for biosecurity without levy contributions from importers
  • the public, and thereby governments, are the greatest beneficiaries of a strong biosecurity system as well as significant contributors to biosecurity risks through travel and trade.

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