The National Farmers Federation says any changes to the agricultural levy system must enhance the long term competitiveness of Australian agriculture and be in the best interests of farmers and their communities.
Beef Central sought the NFF’s reaction this week to the news that a Senate Inquiry will be held into all marketing and research and development levies in the agricultural sector.
President Brent Finlay said the NFF was a strong supporter of Australia’s agricultural R&D levy system.
The system delivered pooled funds for valuable industry research and development, marketing and biosecurity preparedness measures that would otherwise be unaffordable for the majority of farmers, Mr Finlay said.
“The NFF understands that an overwhelming majority of farmers as well as the broader farm sector support the current system,” Mr Finlay said.
“However, the NFF also understands that it is appropriate to review the system from time to time, especially where government co-contributions are involved.
“Only recently was the RDC structure reviewed by the Productivity Commission to help ensure the Australian community gained a better return from its investment to the model. The review made recommendations targeted at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the model.
“The NFF will actively contribute to the Senate inquiry. We look forward to a genuine consultation process, and the opportunity to highlight the value of our world-class R&D levy system to the Australian community.
“Fundamentally, agricultural levies are paid by farmers. Any changes to the existing system must enhance the long term competitiveness of Australian agriculture and be in the best interests of farmers and their communities.”