Press Release 28 February 2020
Cattle Producers Australia (CPA) Chair Dr Paul Wright is of the understanding that a levy register could be up and running by July 1st according to information provided by the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.
CPA met with the Department last week who confirmed that they had concluded all its tasks with respect to the creation of the red meat industry levy payer register and that the register could be in place by 1st July if Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) pursued it.
Dr Wright says cattle producers have been calling for genuine levy payer consultation and engagement and a comprehensive, transparently compiled levy payer register will deliver an ability for levy payers to directly influence the level and use of their levies and the development of policies that affect their industry.
“We are very pleased to hear that the Department of Agriculture has developed information technology systems to assist in the establishment of the register, we believe this will aid in addressing the existing disconnect between levy payers and the distribution of levy funds,” Dr Wright said.
“Principal sources of levy payer identification include the MLA member registry, the Integrity Systems Company that looks after Livestock Production Systems (LPA) animal identification and traceability and the livestock agencies and processors who collect the levies and can identify levy payers. Confirmation of levy payer identification and modes of contacts can be cross-referenced within these sources.”
The Government and the Department have been proactive in responding to recommendation two of the 2015 Senate inquiry into the Industry structures and systems governing levies on grass-fed cattle, for the establishment of an automated transaction levy system to identify levy payers against levies paid. The Primary Industries Levies and Charges Collection Act has been amended and as is stated in the purpose of the 2016 Amendment Bill “The provision of this information is primarily intended to facilitate RDCs developing levy payer registers with a view to pursuing engagement strategies which would give primary producers a greater say in how the levies they pay are used.”
Dr Wright says a register will not only accelerate producer involvement, engagement and ownership on industry matters but also provide a platform for direct communication on issues concerning biosecurity.
We urge MLA to move promptly on this initiative.
Dr Paul Wright
ChairmanCattle Producers Australia (Implementation Committee)
“Woongarra” Taroom Qld 4420
Phone 07 4628 6185 Mobile 0438 286 185