News and Views

Farm exporters offered red tape reprieve with new legislation

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has welcomed a move by the Federal Government to slash red tape and save agricultural exporters time and money.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce released the draft Export Control Bill, for consultation.

The Bill consolidates 17 Acts and 40 legislative instruments governing the export of agricultural produce.

“As an export-dependent sector, we applaud the Minister’s commitment to ensuring farmers are supported by efficient legislative processes,” NFF Chief Executive Tony Mahar said.

The Bill aims to make the rules for exporting easier to understand, use and comply with, while maintaining the level of regulatory oversight expected by our trading partners.

The farm export sector has 60 days to consider the draft legislative and provide feedback.

“We will work with our commodity members to provide an overarching industry wide response to the draft Bill,” Mr Mahar said.

During 2016-2017 agricultural exports contributed about $48 billion to the Australian economy.

Mr Mahar said moves to streamline export processes was part of the bigger picture of expanding Australia’s market opportunities.

“Three quarters of what Australian farmers produce is exported.

“To establish fruitful, long-lasting relationships with markets it is essential that the process of actually trading is flexible, efficient and innovative using the relevant technology that makes exporting easier.

“This requires an assessment of our domestic practices – including legislative instruments.”

It is envisaged that the new legislation will be implemented around 1 April 2020, when much of the existing legislative framework is due to expire.

Source: NFF