Export fees go to vote
A VOTE on a compulsory $6 levy per head for live dairy exports is expected to be held at the Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council (ALEC) AGM in November. Australian livestock exporters currently pay statutory export charges on exported beef cattle, sheep and goats. In 2006 livestock exporters chose to initiate a voluntary charge on exported dairy cattle, introduced to enable funding for sector-specific RD & E and marketing at a rate of $3 per head. ALEC members voted to increase the voluntary charge to $6 per head in 2014. ALEC CEO Simon Westaway said the existing voluntary dairy cattle export charge is significantly under-collected. “It is not sufficient to meet the RD & E and marketing needs of our dairy cattle export sector which is worth $127 million FOB (FY 2016–17),” Mr Westaway said. A consultation period began in May 2017 and this has been extended until October 13. “We’ve had encouraging engagement with producer groups and we’re grateful for the support of the likes of the Australian Dairy Farmers, the National Farmers’ Federation and NSW Farmers,” Mr Westaway said. “We want to maximise the opportunities for further consultation and engagement with livestock exporters and relevant industry bodies.” Following the consultation period, Australian Government licenced livestock exporters will vote on the establishment of the statutory charge. ALEC is overseeing this process in accordance with the Australian Government’s Levy Principles and Guidelines.