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A win for families and farmers as Senate plans to block Labor’s fresh food tax

Michelle Landry MP said common sense has prevailed, after confirmation the crossbench will block Labor’s disastrous and ill thought-out fresh food tax in the Senate.

It comes after The Nationals spent the past year campaigning with farmers and industry against the tax, called a biosecurity protection levy, which would have hurt both families and farmers in Capricornia amid a cost-of-living crisis.

“This is a win for families, a win for farmers and a win for regional Australia,” Ms Landry said.

“I am proud to have been part of a campaign to stop Labor’s fresh food tax as soon as it was announced in Labor’s bad Budget last year. I would like to thank everyone who supported The Nationals and joined our efforts to scrap this tax, either by signing our petition, backing our media campaign or helping to highlight just how disgraceful Labor’s reckless new tax would be.

“Not only would this tax drive up the price of fresh food in Capricornia, with farmers forced to pass on costs, it would also undermine the entire levy system, causing chaos and confusion across industry.

“Families need food that is more affordable and our farmers need support to get food from paddock to plate. While Labor tried to introduce the exact opposite, The Nationals will always fight for common sense and for fairness in the regions.”

Michelle Landry MP added Agriculture Minister Murray Watt should be ashamed for even contemplating the idea, let alone trying to push it through and introduce the tax on July 1.

“The fact Minister Watt refused to listen to concerns and instead doubled down, carrying out a rushed and confusing policy which lacked in detail, is either lazy or arrogant.

“It was senseless when better alternatives were offered by The Nationals, such as an importer container levy, which would charge importers, not our own farmers, to pay for biosecurity risks being created as produce comes into the country.

“In what parallel universe would a government charge its own farmers to pay for the biosecurity risks their competitors are creating, just to raise $150 million over three years for consolidated revenue? I want families and farmers to know The Nationals have your back. We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Australian farmers today and welcome news the Senate will reject Labor’s fresh food tax.”

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