Fresh Food Tax - Hurts Farmers and Families

Wednesday March 27

Federal Member for Nicholls, Sam Birrell MP, says Labor’s new fresh food tax which hurts local producers and further drives up the cost of Australian grown food at the checkout is fundamentally flawed.

Mr Birrell told Parliament this week that importers, who pose the biosecurity risk,
should be the ones to pay.

“What sort of government does this to people? The people who drive local economies, create thousands of jobs and produce fantastic Australian grown, fresh, healthy food,” Mr Birrell said

“Labor’s new fresh food tax is based on an unfair and completely flawed principle that goes against small business, primary production and relieving cost of living pressures, Mr Birrell said.

“This levy will see farmers paying for the biosecurity cost of their competitors to
import product into our country.”

Mr Birrell said farmers will be forced to pass on the cost which makes it a new tax on fresh food.
“We can expect to see prices at the checkout rise,” Mr Birrell said.

Labor will set the tax rate as a proportion of an industry’s average gross value of
production over a three-year period but is able to set the rate at zero – an
admission that in some cases collecting the levy in some sectors could exceed the
revenue raised from it.

More than 50 agricultural representative groups previously signed a joint letter to
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese expressing unified opposition about the new tax.

“Labor needs to listen to the strong concerns raised by all Australian producers and
their representative groups by scrapping the new tax immediately,” Mr Birrell said.

“It is the importers who pose the biosecurity risk that should pay.

“This is just another example of this Labor Government being anti- agriculture,” Mr
Birrell said.

Mr Birrell said Labor should drop the tax and instead mirror the Coalition’s policy of
a container levy.

“The Nationals stand by our farmers and will fight this senseless new tax,” he said.