Ag research levies to be simplified and streamlined

Ag research levies to be simplified and streamlined

Politics
OVERHAUL: Ag Minister David Littleproud said the current levy system was over complicated, resulting in over and under payments.

OVERHAUL: Ag Minister David Littleproud said the current levy system was over complicated, resulting in over and under payments.

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The government says will result in fewer errors, saving farmers time and money.

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AGRICULTURE research and development levies are set for an overhaul, which the government says will result in fewer errors, saving farmers time and money.

More than $7 million will be used to streamline the levy system, which will benefit both levy payers and the close to 8000 levy collection agents.

The existing legislation is made up of 20 primary Acts and more than 24 instruments that have evolved piecemeal over time.

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said each year there were overpayments and underpayments of levies across a range of commodities due to confusing and complex levy rules.

"Current agricultural levies legislation is complex, inconsistent and ambiguous," Mr Littleproud said.

"Simpler legislation will result in fewer errors, saving our agricultural industries time and money."

The ag sector has long called for the complicated and outdated levy system to be overhauled.

Under the new streamlined legislation, agricultural industries will have a clearer line of sight to levy settings and will be able to better respond to address challenges or seize opportunities to benefit the sector.

"Our agenda is about ensuring that where regulation exists, it is fit-for-purpose - making it easier to do business while ensuring essential safeguards with the lightest touch," Mr Littleproud said.

"The introduction of standardised and fit-for-purpose regulatory powers will enable a more consistent, transparent and tiered approach to ensuring compliance, and more effective levy collection.

"Businesses will also benefit from improved stakeholder interface for online levy returns and payments, and comprehensive educational material."

Mr Littleproud said the changes announced in the 2020/21 budget would make it easier for the sector to capture the potential of the levy system, use technology to modernise the regulatory process and reduce compliance costs.

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