The National Farmers Federation remains opposed to the government's Biosecurity Protection Levy despite dramatic modelling changes.
The peak body said it still needs "significant" additional operational information" on numerous issues it had identified regarding the policy construct, execution pathway and how the levy and new system will impact producers "on the ground."
Meanwhile, the government responded to months of protests from the agriculture sector by announcing alterations to its contentious Biosecurity Protection Levy on Tuesday "to ensure it's more equitable and more transparent."
The BPL was first announced in the 2023 Federal Budget as part of a new sustainable biosecurity funding model and is scheduled to begin on July 1.
The government had originally announced that the new tax would be based on 10 per cent of existing statutory agricultural levy rates.
But it has revealed the BPL will now be set according to "an industry's average share of gross agriculture, fisheries and forestry production over a rolling three-year period."
Despite the changes, NFF president David Jochinke said in a statement that the agricultural sector, along with supply chain participants, have "overwhelmingly objected" to the levy.
The NFF Members' Council passed a motion opposing the policy last October.
"We acknowledge today's comments by the Minister recognising the significant concerns of industry, including issues related to equitability and transparency," he said.
"However we still await significant further information concerning the levy's design, and what it will practically look like for producers on the ground.
"We also want to see details on the potential impact on the existing levies system; transparency about how the collected funds will actually deliver dedicated, additional and tangible biosecurity outcomes; formalised producer oversight mechanisms; and proper recognition of existing producer contributions to the broader biosecurity system.
"Until such a time that these issues are addressed properly, we remain opposed to the levy."
He added that, despite the changes, industry remained facing a "fundamentally flawed proposal to be implemented in less than five months."
NSW Farmers Policy Director Ash Cooper also said that in the absence of further details it remained firm that "farmers should not pay an additional tax to fund the nation's biosecurity system."
Meanwhile, while Cattle Australia "is pleased the government has listened", it reiterated calls for an even more "equitable and systemic biosecurity outcome" to be delivered.
CA chief executive Chris Parker said, while the preference was that the Government captured all sectors in any levy arrangement, "the grass-fed cattle industry appreciates now having a seat at the table in discussions surrounding the development and implementation of the levy."
"We believe the BPL in its current form does not share the cost of biosecurity with all sectors of the economy, and maintain our position that a detailed analysis of who the beneficiaries and risk creators are will be required to achieve a truly equitable policy," Dr Parker said.
Grain Producers Australia chief executive Colin Bettles said the organisation welcomed the adjustments that addressed "some of the many inequities raised by farmers and their representative groups and lack of transparency."
"However, we need to see the actual detail of these changes to know whether these modifications have actually improved fairness and addressed the significant, fundamental flaws in this proposal," he said
He said GPA remained concerned that agricultural producers were labelled 'beneficiaries' of biosecurity, "when we know there are many beneficiaries of strong biosecurity, from the paddock through to the supermarket checkout."