Growers grumpy over fee hike
AUSTRALIA’S horticulture sector has joined forces to unanimously oppose price hikes to export fees.
The fees are flagged to come into effect on July 1 and will over-recover more than $3.5 million during the next four years.
Eight major industry associations, Apple and Pear Australia, Australian Horticultural Exporters and Importers Association, Australian Mango Industry Association, Australian Table Grape Association, AusVeg, Cherry Growers Australia, Citrus Australia and Summerfruit Australia, have called on the Federal Government to re-engage with stakeholders before introducing a new cost-recovery model for horticulture export services.
Earlier this year the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources released a draft document outlining new levies for 2018-2019, including a doubling of the phytosanitary certificate levy from $38 per document to $78. It would also increase the horticultural products levy to non-protocol countries by 160 per cent, from $0.65 to $1.70 a tonne, and to protocol countries from $1.30 to $3.40 a tonne.
Australian Horticultural Exporters’ and Importers’ Association chief executive Dominic Jenkin said the scheme was “fundamentally flawed”.
He said the Government was seeking to recover more than the cost of providing certification services.