DEPARTMENT of Agriculture will sit down with industry over the finer details of the new levy on imported containers, first assistant secretary Matthew Koval says.
Mr Koval spoke at Global Shippers Forum 2018 in Melbourne following the budget announcement by the federal government of a $10.02 levy per TEU (or equivalent).
As part of a panel session, the assistant secretary was put on the spot by a Forum delegate who said he had heard the levy was to be collected by stevedores and this was “a silly idea” with the likelihood of increased costs through the supply chain
“Our initial thinking was through the port terminal operators – the stevedores,” Mr Koval conceded.
“That comment you made was probably one I’ve heard more often these last 36 hours.
“What we have a commitment to is that we will sit down and work out what is the most effective and efficient way.”
Mr Koval also had to defend Treasury from suggestions they been “essentially dreaming this up themselves”.
“It would be unkind if I said Treasury dreamed this up, that would be a cop out,” he said, noting involvement from high levels of government and the public service.