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Beekeepers Embark On Consultation & Ballot Process

Beekeepers Embark On Consultation And Ballot Process For Levies

A two-tier levy system to replace the current Commodity Levies (Bee Products) Order 1996 that beekeepers with more than 10 hives must pay, has been recommended by the National Beekeepers Association (NBA) compliance and review committee.

"The commodity levy established to fund the National Pest Management Strategy (PMS) to control American foulbrood disease is due to expire on 1 December 2002," said NBA President, Don Bell. "This current system frustrates hobby beekeepers and is time-consuming and costly for the NBA to administer.

"A revised levy scheme proposal was adopted at the NBA annual general meeting in 2001 and would include a base levy and a hive levy under Section 90 of the Biosecurity Act and a commodity levy based on production.

"The NBA must now develop the two levy proposals further and seek stakeholder and statutory approval. Extensive consultation will start next month with NBA area meetings and mailouts to all beekeepers.

"The NBA hopes to have the support it needs from the industry to make an application to the Minister of Biosecurity for a Section 90 levy by the end of April.

"Beekeepers wishing to make submissions on the proposal may write directly to the Minister with their concerns. If the Minister is satisfied that a Section 90 levy is the best way to fund the PMS and that concerns of objectors have been met a levy can be recommended.

"Once consultation with stakeholders is completed, a referendum on commodity levy proposal will be held for those required to pay the levy. If the referendum result is in favour of a commodity levy, an application will be sent to the Minister to have a new levy in place by December 2002."


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