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DAWE - Biosecurity Imports Levy Scrapped                                                

The Government has announced that it will not be proceeding with the Biosecurity Imports Levy. (BIL)

DAWE Media Statement 

Onshore Biosecurity Levy

Following broad industry consultation and further consideration of the impacts on industry, the Australian Government has made the decision not to proceed with the Onshore Biosecurity Levy.

The department undertook a co-design process with industry to develop a levy model that was practical for industry and the government.

This process highlighted that a levy could not be implemented without significant regulatory impacts on industry and proposed levy payers.

This decision has also been made in consideration of the ongoing impacts of drought, bushfires and COVID-19 on the Australian economy and the rapidly changing global trade environment.

The department would like to thank the Industry Working Group and other stakeholders who provided valuable input and feedback on the proposed levy design.

A levy will not be progressed and this decision will not impact on the overall biosecurity budget.

Australia’s biosecurity system will continue to be funded through existing arrangements.

Since 2012-13, budget for biosecurity programs has increased by more than 40 per cent, or almost $250 million, with approximately $850 million available in 2019-20.

Biosecurity is vital for Australia. It delivers important benefits to the community, the environment, our farmers, importers and exporters.

Australia’s biosecurity system also underpins $60 billion in agricultural production, $49 billion in agricultural exports and $42 billion in inbound tourism.

The department will continue to work with industry and the government to ensure Australia’s biosecurity system manages the risks of pests and diseases now and into the future.

AFIF Comment

Following 2 years of industry consultation, whereby AFIF has represented members at various industry engagement sessions, then as a member of the Minister Littleproud appointed Biosecurity Imports Levy Steering Committee, then as a member of the Minister McKenzie appointed Alternative Biosecurity Levy Industry Working Group, the Department has advised industry stakeholders that the government will not be proceeding with the Biosecurity Imports Levy.

AFIF has advocated since the original announcement of the proposed Biosecurity Imports Levy, that the funds raised needed to be directed by government through their 'appropriations mechanism', to fully fund the Department of Agriculture’s activities in combatting biosecurity threats, current and emerging, especially in the area of additional resources for inspections and assessment services.

AFIF was concerned from the outset on the BIL's purpose, rationale, levy base and collection method and advocated against the levy throughout the consultation process.

After 2 years of considerable investment in industry consultation, participating on the BIL committees, AFIF supports the Government’s decision to scrap the BIL.

The Department has advised industry that the Government’s decision 'will not impact on the overall biosecurity budget and Australia’s biosecurity system will continue to be funded through existing arrangements'. (Cost Recovery and Appropriations)

AFIF will continue to advocate the importance of sufficient government funding of the biosecurity system.

AFIF will keep members informed of developments.

DAWE Media Statement