Growers demand export quarantine fee refund
Australian fruit and vegetable growers are demanding a refund of fees paid under a failed reform of the quarantine system.
Earlier this year, the Federal Government cancelled a 40 percent subsidy on export inspection costs as part of several fundamental changes to Australia’s quarantine service. The reforms failed to pass the Senate, however, and the previous subsidy that was in place has been reinstated until 2011.
Many growers are concerned about the government’s recent announcement that the subsidy will not be paid retrospectively, as they have been paying the higher fees since July 1, potentially putting many citrus and some vegetable growers at disadvantage.
Kris Newton, chief executive office of the Horticulture Australia Council, says the fees need to be repaid to the growers affected by the regulatory changes.