The Australian Government announced a biosecurity levy in the 2018 budget due to be implemented this July that is significantly flawed, according to a statement by fourteen transport and logistics industry associations.
In a collaborative statement, the associations urged the Government to remove it from the 2019 Budget.
The statement declared that the industry welcomes the Government’s recognition on the need for an Industry Steering Committee to better inform Government on improving the proposed Biosecurity levy scheme design.
This announcement is acknowledgement the current proposal is flawed and fails to recognise the damage the levy would do to the competitiveness of the freight supply chain, key export industries and the cruise sector, as well as the higher costs for consumers.
The statement continued to express the protection of our natural and agricultural assets is vital to this country from both an environmental and financial perspective. The industries represented in this statement are part of Australia’s biosecurity system and take their roles seriously. Which is why we believe in impactful and informed solutions to strengthening Australia’s biosecurity system.
The associations expressed their main concerns as:
- The rushed nature of a tax designed without fully understanding the potential for far-reaching economic consequences;
- Additional and unnecessary costs – particularly to Australia’s tourism, manufacturing, agriculture, mining, energy and construction industries;
- Flow-on costs to consumers;
- Confusion as to why a new biosecurity tax is required over and above the Australian Government’s biosecurity charges that are currently in place for sea-freight (extensively reviewed in 2015-16) and the passenger movement charge for the cruise sector;
- That a biosecurity risk assessment and regulation impact statement has not been undertaken by the Australian Government to inform the development of the proposed biosecurity tax;
- A lack of clarity on how the Australian Government would collect the proposed tax; and
- No guarantee that all revenue raised by the proposed new tax would be used to support Australian biosecurity measures.
We urge the Government to remove the proposed levy from the 2019 Budget and provide a genuine opportunity to industry to help design a fair and equitable model that improves Australia’s biosecurity ability, concluded the statement.
The announcement was signed by Ai Group, Australasian Rail Association, Australian Aluminium Council Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Australian Logistics Council, Cement Industry Federation, Cruise Lines International Association, Fertilizer Australia, Freight Trade Alliance, Gas Energy Australia, Manufacturing Australia, Minerals Council of Australia, Ports Australia and Shipping Australia Limited.