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Government says export inspectors are cheap at $745 a day



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Shadow Minister for Primary Industry

GOVERNMENT SAYS EXPORT INSPECTORS ARE CHEAP AT $745 A DAY

Australian exporters are being hampered by an inefficient, bureaucratic, overstaffed and highly expensive inspection service, according to national Party Deputy Leader and Shadow Minister for Primary Industry, Bruce Lloyd.

Mr Lloyd said hardly a day goes by without him receiving a plea from another exporter who is either losing markets or being forced out of business by having to pay either $43 per quarter- hour for an export inspector or the "cheaper" rate of $745 a day.

In New Zealand where there is also 100 per cent recovery in fees the 15 minute cost is $10 ($NZ13.50) plus GST which of course is rebated.

He said if the exporter was unlucky enough to have to send his consignment on a public holiday he pays an extra $10 per quarter hour with a minimum charge of $160 for overtime.

"If you are sending a consignment of cut flowers or a sample to overseas buyers the inspection costs can far outweigh the total value of the consignment.

"This Government appears to neither know or care that exporters are going out of business because they can't afford these fees.

"Indeed when it announced the last increase the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service said the reason for the increase was that the economic downturn had led to less exports which had reduced the revenue being collected.

"Surely the downturn in exports should have signalled to the Government that exporters were in trouble and a way should have been found to reduce the costs, not increase them.

"Instead of placing a larger burden on the shoulders of exporters why wasn't thought given to reducing AQIS costs?

"It is time the Commonwealth Public Service faced the real world. There are businesses out there fighting for their very survival. AQIS must reduce numbers, work harder and smarter and cut costs otherwise there will be no exports left to inspect."

end 105/92 ********* 12/10/92

EDITOR'S NOTE: For further information from exporters contact:

Mr John Hay, Heritage Seeds Pty Ltd, Murwillyumbah, NSW. Phone 066 724212

Mr PG Mackie, G.P. Mackie & Co New Norcia WA Phone 096 548081 (exporter of compressed oaten hay who says: Government "charges make a Sicilian racketeer look like a Philanthropist".

Greg Wheatley, Nursery Industry Association of Aust. Sydney. Phone 02 6333199

Brian Harris, Collina Protea Farm Flinders Vic Phone 059 890204

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