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Pork Industry Not Backing Quarantine Reforms

by 5m Editor
19 June 2009, at 10:15am

AUSTRALIA - Livestock exporters are calling on cross-benchers and the Opposition to support the Federal Government's new quarantine fee structure.

The Federal Government has released details of its biosecurity reform package and details of fees, but they still need Senate approval, reports ABC.

The government will remove the 40 per cent export subsidy next month, as recommended by the Beale review into Australia's quarantine procedures.

Lach McKinnon, from the Australian Livestock Exporters' Council, says industry has agreed to the fees in order to see vital quarantine reforms happen.

"In regards to cost of export certifications, there will be increases for exporters, but the reforms that we're putting forward will definitely outweigh the increase in fees and charges," he says.

The new fee structure will be tabled in the Senate on Monday and could be disallowed within 15 sitting days.

Western Australian pork processors say they'll be worse off under the government's new quarantine fee structure.

Over half of Australia's pork exports to South-East Asia come from WA, and processors fear additional costs will make the industry uncompetitive against rival pork exporters Canada, Denmark and the USA.

David Lock, from agribusiness company Craig Mostyn Group, says the entire supply chain will be affected.

"There is the potential that other countries will be preferred suppliers, which will have an impact right back to growers, where we are unable to pay growers as much as we would have, or there is a reduced supply because our costs are too high."