Legislation to fund strong biosecurity and export certification passes the Senate
26 June 2015
New exports and imported food legislation designed to implement fairer, more equitable funding arrangements for users of export certification and biosecurity systems passed the Senate this week.
Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said the new legislation does not amend current fees and charges but it will now allow the Australian Government to progress the redesign of export certification and biosecurity cost recovery arrangements with industry and stakeholders.
"Improving the performance and efficiency and reducing unnecessary red tape in export certification was a commitment made by the Coalition prior to the last election and I am pleased that this legislation has passed, enabling us to continue this work.
"It is important that our exporters and importers pay a reasonable price that recovers the real cost of the services they receive from government," Minister Joyce said.
"It's also very important that those charges do not unfairly discriminate against new or small exporters.
"At the same time, we need to make sure our biosecurity and export certification systems remain world leading as Australia's $53 billion agricultural sector relies on it.
"This legislation lays the foundation to work with industry to determine the best way to implement fees and charges that are fair, efficient and reduce the impact on small exporters and businesses."
The department has been consulting with government-industry consultative committees about the redesign of the cost recovery arrangements since mid-last year. In July and August, the department will seek broader stakeholder feedback on the redesign that has been worked through with these committees.
"We continue to listen to industry and work with clients, government-industry consultative committees and peak bodies," Minister Joyce said.
"This engagement will continue as we design appropriate fees and charges that underpin each of the arrangements."
Further information on draft cost recovery implementation statements, including proposed fees and charges, will be published on the department's website in July 2015. Information will also be available on how interested stakeholders can provide feedback and attend information forums that will held by the department.
More information about the redesign of cost recovery arrangements is available online agriculture.gov.au/costrecoveryreview.