Greens Biosecurity Bill Position

Australian Greens

The Greens have formally announced opposition to the government’s proposed Biosecurity Protection Levy.

As stated by Greens spokesperson for agriculture, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson:

“The Greens support significant and new biosecurity funding that ensures Australia has robust threat abatement measures in place to safeguard our communities, the environment and industry into the future – and we congratulate the Agricultural Minister for raising significant additional revenue from some key biosecurity risk creators.

“But the Bill the government flagged for parliament to specifically tax farmers in this regard is poor policy in both principle and design and should be rejected.

“The fact this new proposed levy has zero buy-in from the agricultural sector speaks for itself – consultation on it was rushed and inadequate.

“The Greens have consulted with stakeholders including the Minister’s office, listened to farmers, attended Senate hearings into this legislation and feel strongly a different approach is needed, and we will work constructively with the government and farmers to achieve this.

“If the government needs an extra $50m to boost biosecurity border security, it should look elsewhere.

“To put things in perspective, if Labor accepted the Greens’ offer on doubling the tax on gas corporations to pass the government’s PRRT changes, we would raise $500m a year, ten times the annual amount Labor is seeking from farmers.

“Labor doesn’t have the guts to tax the fossil fuel corporations posting billions in profit to fund their policies and instead is looking to farmers to foot the bill.

“It’s reasonable farmers are asking why they should pay a levy when the food and fibre they produce passes up through a supply chain that numerous other interests benefit from – including the profiteering supermarket duopoly who rake in huge profits but wouldn’t have to contribute a cent.

“We know farmers are doing it tough – they are already being forced by the supermarket duopoly to accept rock bottom prices for the food they produce while that duopoly makes off like bandits charging premiums and padding profit margins.

“Labor should be taxing the fossil fuel industry and the supermarket duopoly – not farmers.”

/Public Release. View in full here.