The motion highlighting unfair Australian Quarantine and Inspection Services (AQIS) charges will be moved in the Senate Chamber tomorrow according to Senator for South Australia, Anne Ruston.
Senator Ruston’s motion – cosponsored by Senator Nick Xenophon - will highlight the 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 Punturievo raised the issue,” Senator Ruston said.
Mr Punturievo, 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 will also call on the Government to urgently review the AQIS licence system,” Senator Ruston said.