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Biosecurity blow leaves bruises

Cartoon for Big Rigs
Cartoon for Big Rigs

JUST when you thought the drip-feed spending on roading and total lack of acknowledgement for rest areas were enough body blows from the budget, we get another sucker punch right in the smacker.

Yes, we're talking about the sneaky little new tax coming our way from July 1 next called the biosecurity import levy.

But the really galling thing about this cash grab is that according to one report, only $77 million of the $360 million expected to be raised is actually going toward biosecurity. A please explain from the minister is still pending, as you'll see in our story on pages 2 and 3.

Many industry stakeholders are also left wondering why it's going to take so long to get sign-off on the overdue review of the NHVL.

It's great that the long-awaited inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities report is out - see story on pages 4 and 5. But now we're told that we have to wait until November for the state ministers to sign off on the terms of reference.

As ATA CEO Ben Maguire said on a recent 2CC Talking Canberra podcast, a handful of the right people could get the essentials signed off in one afternoon.

One piece of legislation we don't ever want to see the light of day is the new private members bill from Liberal MP Sussan Ley banning live sheep exports. Read Bruce Honeywill's excellent feature on page 18 to learn more about the wide-spread industry ramifications.

Topics:  big rigs editor big rigs editorial biosecurity editorial

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