Live exporters slam fee hikes

The West Australian
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Live exporters have alleged "bureaucratic bastardry" as the Government hikes fees on the industry.

The Australian Livestock Exporters has accused the Government of putting the nation's agricultural competitiveness last in a race to fix the Department of Agriculture's bottom line.

Exporters have been told the Government will increase live animal export document processing, inspection, certification and registration fees and charges by up to 66 per cent from July 1.

ALEC chief officer Alison Penfold said the Government's decision has angered and disappointed exporters and left them facing fees and charges that will put some operators in the red and potentially others out of business.

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"The Minister for Agriculture has made a huge play on his commitment to support the live trade as well as increase agricultural competitiveness across the sector's industries. We thought he would take our representations through the Cost Recovery Impact Statement process seriously," she said

"Yet here we are facing outrageous fees and charges that directly fly in the face of the Minister's statements and the Government's red tape and deregulation agenda.

"Some of the work is done by veterinarians at the APS4 and APS 6 levels. The salaries for these officers range from $62, 818 to $109,584. If we add a 30 per cent salary on cost and then add the Department's 56% overhead costs, the hourly rate for these two job levels comes in at $75 and $130.70.

"That means the Government is gouging a 500%+ premium out of the pockets of the livestock export supply chain including producers and exporters."

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