The Prime Minister Scott Morrison has ducked questions on the government’s delayed Biosecurity Imports Levy, claiming it is still “under consideration.”
The Prime Minister was responding to a question from the Shadow Agriculture Minister, Joel Fitzgibbon, about the progress of the Levy which was included in the 2018-19 Budget Papers.
Today, in the House of Representatives, the Prime Minister said the Biosecurity Imports Levy was “still a matter that the government is consulting on, and preparing that legislation.”
Mr Fitzgibbon said a functioning biosecurity system was crucial to our food sector and our exporters, and the continued delays to the Biosecurity Imports Levy showed a lack of focus.
“The Prime Minister has demonstrated contempt for industry and contempt for the safety and security of our food systems,” said Mr Fitzgibbon. “The Biosecurity Imports Levy has gone nowhere since the Craik Review wrote its report on biosecurity in 2017.
“The Levy was booked in the 2018-19 Budget at $325 million over three years, and the Government has already missed two implementation deadlines. The original design was so bungled that it has been reviewed by both Pegasus Economics and an industry Steering Committee.
“We still don’t have draft legislation to consider,” said Mr Fitzgibbon. “The Prime Minister’s dismissive and flippant answer to my question today shows he is more interested in politics than the interests of our farmers.”