A Coalition Government will provide $15 million in the form of rebates for export certification registration costs.
Senator for South Australia Anne Ruston, who is based in the Riverland, said the policy was a big win for small horticultural exporters in the region.
“Small horticultural exporters have been devastated by Labor’s cost recovery program, which has resulted in them paying $8530 (up from around $500) per year to have their establishments certified for exports to protocol markets,” Senator Ruston said.
“Small exporters who have been sending only a few pallets of produce overseas are paying the same as big businesses which export thousands of tonnes. It’s unfair and in many cases prohibitive.
“Our policy has addressed this inequity. Small exporters should be encouraged to open new markets for our high quality produce, not penalised by a one-size-fits-all approach.”
Senator Ruston also welcomed the Coalition’s commitment to increase the Federal Government’s contribution to agricultural research and development by $100 million.
“Increased investment in research and development is absolutely critical to the sustainability of the agricultural sector,” she said. “It’s fundamental to increasing profitability, enhancing natural resource management, and maintaining and improving food quality, safety and security.
“The Coalition has also committed $20 million to strengthen biosecurity and quarantine, including the establishment of a Biosecurity Flying Squad to quickly respond to exotic disease and pest incursions.
“It’s a fantastic outcome. Australia’s relative freedom from many pests and diseases is an important advantage in competition for export markets with other countries.
“We must do everything we reasonably can to keep this advantage, particularly with regard to our capacity to rapidly respond in biosecurity emergencies and to anticipate emerging threats.”