August 21, 2014
Senator Colbeck today expressed strong support for the agricultural levy system and the role it plays in keeping Australian agriculture at the leading edge.
"The levies for onions, mangos and mushrooms were increased at the request of growers and only came about after a rigorous process over several years involving consultation, investment of grower funds and AEC independent ballots," Senator Colbeck said.
"These levies allow growers to pool their resources and invest in a range of marketing activities to help grow their industries and contribute to future prosperity."
"They can also be used for research and development, residue testing, and plant and animal health programs."
Senator Colbeck's comments come as Australian horticulture and agriculture leaders gather in Tasmania today to express opposition to Liberal Democrat Senator David Leyonhjelm's motion to disallow the recently approved changes to the levy system.
Senator Colbeck said he strongly supported the agricultural levies and would not support the disallowance motion.
"This absurd move would reduce growers' ability to self-sufficiently contribute to the development and growth of their industries and I absolutely will not support it," he said.
"The levies are particularly important in my home state of Tasmania where onions are the third biggest vegetable crop and were worth $27.45 million in 2012-13."
"The levy system is extremely important to help our agriculture industries remain at the leading edge."