New biosecurity levy slammed as cash grab
Stakeholders demand tax explanation
PEAK body Road Freight NSW has described the new biosecurity levy on cargo, announced in the recent Federal Budget, as a “re-run” of the crippling port surcharges already imposed on truck operators.
Road Freight NSW joined supply chain stakeholders in calling for further details from the Federal Government on the justification for the new levy, a charge of $10.02 per incoming container and $1 per tonne of non-containerised cargo, which would generate an additional $360 million in revenue.
“From our perspective, it’s a re-run of the port infrastructure surcharges which have been slapped on truck operators with no consultation, no explanation and certainly no justification. Nothing more than a blatant cash grab,” Road Freight NSW chief executive officer Simon O’Hara said.
“Of the $360 million raised through the biosecurity levy, it’s estimated that only $76.6 million is actually being spent on biosecurity – that’s why it’s only fair and reasonable that our industry stakeholders are calling on the government to explain where the rest of the money will be used.
“Undoubtedly, such a blanket surcharge, like the port infrastructure taxes imposed on truckies, will simply be added to goods all through the supply chain.
“Everyone in the freight logistics sector will be hit, and hurt, by this new tax.
“Our members, who are already struggling to operate on increasingly tight margins as a result of the port taxes imposed by stevedores, are going to be impacted. And ultimately, so will Australian consumers who will be paying more for their imported goods.
“RFNSW joins the Australian Logistics Council, Australasian Railway Association, Ports Australia and Shipping Australia in raising our concerns about this new import tax and calling on the government to give us a please explain.”
A request from Big Rigs for Agriculture Minister David Littleproud to respond went unanswered by
❝ Everyone in the freight logistics sector will be hit, and hurt, by this new tax. — Simon O’Hara, RFNSW CEO
deadline for this issue.
But an independent review chaired by Wendy Craik, former executive director of the National Farmers’ Federation, received by the government in July last year recommended the levy to help meet biosecurity detection and enforcement overheads.
The Queensland Trucking Association joined the growing chorus of disapproval from industry stakeholders to the new tax, which is due to come into effect from July next year.
“As it is we pay state registration charges, we pay fuel excise, we pay significant tolls across the country, and port charges area now ever-increasing. Where does it all stop?” said QTA CEO Gary Mahon.
“We still need to be a competitive industry, and to compete with our international exposure we need to make sure transport costs are not an undue
PLEASE EXPLAIN: The road freight sector has joined with other stakeholders to hit out at a potentially crippling cargo levy announced in the Federal Budget.