Matthew Cossey.PRODUCERS of pesticides and farm chemicals have warned that the government is sabotaging its own plans to turn Australia into a regional food power by imposing extra costs and red tape on their industry.
A report by Deloitte Access Economics says that plans to increase fees for registering new farm chemicals by $8 million could cost the economy $21 million in lost farm production.
The federal government has billed its planned changes to the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Management Authority as a bid to cut red tape and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the industry regulator.
But CropLife chief executive Matthew Cossey said the 287-page draft law failed to address inefficiencies in processes and added red tape, rather than removing it. He said increased costs would be passed on to farmers and would deter some companies from registering new products in Australia, as the market was not big enough to justify the higher costs.
“A range of pesticides and fungicides just would not make it to market,” he said.
“You can’t be talking about turning Australia into a regional food power and having a national food plan when you are adding extra regulation and increasing costs to farmers.”
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