The Coalition is carrying through on our commitment to reduce red tape and compliance burden for business and industry. The issue of red tape is one that I have dealt with myself as a farmer and it is a subject that is frequently brought to my attention throughout the Electorate.
The Federal Government has committed to cutting $1 billion of red tape from the Australian economy. Last week in parliament, we announced measures worth $300 million to reduce red tape.
In agricultural sector alone the following measures have been introduced to increase productivity and reduce compliance costs for farmers:
· Signed the Korean Free Trade Agreement and the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement to substantially liberalise Australia’s trade with these two major markets.
· Introduced the Biosecurity Bill 2014 – the biggest change to our biosecurity system in more than 100 years. The Bill simplifies and streamlines Australia’s biosecurity laws whilst still ensuring the high standard of protection of Australia’s human, environmental and animal health that the community expects.
· Improved the Farm Management Deposit Scheme so that farmers and other primary producers can earn up to $100,000-up from the previous limit of $65,000-in non-primary production or ‘off-farm’ income and still be eligible to create new FMDs in that same year.
· Introduced the mandatory port access code of conduct for grain export terminals to give all exporters of bulk wheat fair and transparent access to port terminal services, regardless of who owns the facility.
· Removed the requirement for tail tags for cattle destined for the European Union. Apart from the saving in the cost of the tags, this measure will also reduce labour requirements and will enable better animal management prior to trucking. Reduced stress to the animals also ensures better meat quality.
· Removed the expiry of agvet chemicals approvals and registrations and the need for businesses to apply for re-approval or re-registration.
· Approved amendments to the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Regulations 1995 to exclude certain types of animal feed for both stock and companion animals from the scope of Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority regulatory assessment.
· Established a new, more flexible horticulture research, development and marketing board – Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited.
The Government will continue to seek ways to reduce compliance costs in agriculture as well as other industries. Suggestions for reducing red tape can be submitted to my office or by visiting www.cuttingredtape.gov.au.