AQIS motion highlights unfair system

The motion highlighting unfair Australian Quarantine and Inspection Services (AQIS) charges will put pressure on the Government to fix its flawed scheme, according to Senator for South Australia, Anne Ruston.

Senator Ruston’s motion – moved in the Senate today - highlights more than 17 fold increase in the export certification charges from $500 to $8350 as well as how the new licensing regime discriminates against small and medium sized exporters.

“Labor has increased costs for exporters while at the same time failing to introduce promised reforms to the export supply chain; reforms that were needed to offset the higher costs,” Senator Ruston said.

“This motion has come about after Riverland small businessman Michael Punturiero raised the issue,” she said.

“Mr Punturiero, who had a lucrative export market for his high quality, high value limes found it unviable to export following the increase in charges.

“The Government has again shown itself to be completely out of touch with the needs of small businesses and rural Australians.

“Governments ought to be in business of encouraging small and medium sized exporters to grow their businesses instead of putting the shackles on them.

“In light of these serious problems the motion also calls on the Government to urgently review the AQIS licence system,” Senator Ruston said.

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