A COMMITTEE examining the merits of the so-called biosecurity levy has recommended the creation of a biosecurity advisory council.
A report into the controversial levy on imports was this week released to the public by agriculture minister Bridget McKenzie having been prepared by a steering committee chaired by David Trebeck.
The committee, which broadly backed the levy concept, noted concerns money raised from the controversial scheme might be directed to schemes away from biosecurity.
“The committee recommends the appointment of a high-level, expertise-based biosecurity advisory council to enhance the shared responsibility principle and provide more scope for private sector interests to contribute constructively to important biosecurity decisions, including funding and consideration of relative biosecurity risk, and thereby to assist the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources’ biosecurity efforts,” the committee reported.
“A further measure would be for the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources to produce an annual Budget-related paper which would provide a full reconciliation of biosecurity-related revenue and expenditure.”
The report can be viewed below.http://agriculture.gov.au/SiteCollectionDocuments/biosecurity/biosecurity-steering-committee-report-may-19.pdf
Senator McKenzie said the committee received and considered 29 submissions in drafting the report.
“The volume of shipping cargo has increased by more than 30% in the past nine years,” she said.
“Mail items from overseas have increased by a staggering 172% in nine years in line with the prevalence of our online shopping habits and we have 60% more people coming through our airports.
“We have a Passenger Movement Charge in place to help meet the cost of screening and inspecting people as they arrive.
“This industry report is a critical piece of the puzzle and the government will respond in due course.”