Shipping Australia is pleased to see Minister McKenzie release the Report of the Bio Levy Steering Committee.
This is a comprehensive report and its release now puts all the considerations out there in the open. It will inform future discussions. It builds on the previous reviews and highlights a serious lack of authoritative information on relative risk vectors.
You should be aware that the terms of reference for the committee required us to recommend HOW to collect the revenue, not WHETHER it was justifiable to place a further load on industry. The import, logistics, transport and shipping industries already directly contribute around 80 per cent of the cost of Australia’s biosecurity. This number is continuing to grow as our level of imports increase, it is the Government’s proportional contribution through budget funding that is continuing to slide.
And lets remember, every Australian benefits from strong biosecurity and everyone who buys imported products (and that is everyone) is a risk creator. Therefore biosecurity is a public good and it makes sense to spread the levy across all tax payers through budget appropriation.
Collected this way, the cost to each of us would be about the same as two cups of coffee per year.