Treasurer Scott Morrison has announced changes to agricultural production levies, which includes a levy on avocados.
Other products affected are bananas, seed cotton, tree tree oil, thoroughbred horses and egg-laying chickens.
The government is making changes to the agricultural levies and export charges at the request of industry to meet changes in the biosecurity and research and development (R&D) funding needs.
Here’s everything you need to know.
On 1 April 2017, the government introduced a Plant Health Australia (PHA) levy of 0.1 cents per kilogram of fresh avocados, as proposed by Avocados Australia. There is a corresponding reduction of 0.1 cents in the existing avocado R&D levy rate from 3.0 cents per kilogram to 2.9 cents per kilogram.
On 1 April 2017, the government increased the PHA component of the banana levy by 0.4897 cents per kilogram, from 0.0103 cents per kilogram to 0.5 cents per kilogram, and rounded the marketing component of the levy to 1.15 cents per kilogram (from 1.1497 cents per kilogram), at the request of the Australian Banana Growers’ Council.
The funds raised will be used to repay the $3.0 million grant provided by the Government to assist the banana industry with measures to manage and contain Panama disease (Tropical Race 4).
On 1 April 2017, the government introduced a mandatory export charge of $4.06 per tonne on seed cotton exports, comprising a $3.99 per tonne R&D levy, $0.07 per tonne PHA levy, and an Emergency Plant Pest Response (EPPR) levy presently set at zero, at the request of Cotton Australia.
This will ensure that the levies currently collected on all cotton lint produced in Australia continue to be collected in the case that some cotton lint is exported as seed cotton.
Tea tree oil
From 1 July 2017, the government will establish an R&D levy of 25 cents per kilogram of tea tree oil sold domestically or exported, at the request of the Australian Tea Tree Industry Association.
The government previously provisioned for a matching contribution of $140,000 per annum, consistent with its commitment in the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper. An EPPR levy will also be established at a nil rate, with a positive rate to be activated at a later date if required to respond to disease incursion.
From 1 July 2017, the government will implement its election commitment and establish an R&D levy of $10 per mare covered (paid by the stallion owner) or returned (paid by the broodmare owner) per season, as requested by Thoroughbred Breeders Australia.
The Government previously provisioned for a matching contribution of $400,000 per annum, consistent with its election
From 1 July 2017, the Emergency Animal Disease Response (EADR) levy on laying chickens will be reduced from 1.4 cents per one-day-old chick to zero, as requested by the Australian Egg Corporation Limited.
This reflects that the egg industry’s liability incurred for the eradication of the avian influenza outbreaks under the EADR Agreement has been repaid.