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AUSTRALIA : Mango industry 'frustrated' by levy challenge

ABC Rural By Marty McCarthy

Updated 4 Aug 2014, 5:50pm

The mango industry says it's frustrated by attempts in the Senate to block a proposed increase to the mango levy.
The Senate is expected to vote on a disallowance motion, from Liberal Democratic Party Senator David Leyonhjelm, against the levy changes later this month.
The increase is being considered alongside changes to the onion and mushroom industry levies.
Robert Gray, the chief executive officer of the Australian Mango Industry Association, says the delay shows a disregard for the levy system.
"From a mango perspective we're frustrated because a lot of work has been done about why we wanted the levy increase," he said.
"That levy should have taken effect in July 1 this year for the upcoming season.
"We've gone through the official progress of consultation and voting, and a majority of growers voted for it.
“Now we're being held up by someone playing politics down in Canberra.”
The industry wants an extra one cent per tray of mangoes, on top of the 12.25 cents already paid, to go towards pest and disease management.
"It’s used to look at pest incursions and protecting Australia's biosecurity," Mr Gray said.
"The other 0.8 cents of the [proposed levy increase] is about having a fund that allows us to manage any reaction to a pest incursion that may occur.
"If there's 7.2 million trays over the course of the coming season that allows us to raise around $600,000 a year, and we can match those funds with other government funds."
The onion industry says it's confident the push by Senator Leyonhjelm won't go ahead.
First posted 4 Aug 2014, 5:13pm

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