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Thursday, 27 November 2014
Page: 13431

Mr JOYCE (New EnglandMinister for Agriculture and Deputy Leader of The Nationals) (09:34): I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

Three charging bills are being introduced as part of the Biosecurity Bill package. These will allow the Commonwealth to impose charges that appropriately reflect the cost of administering the Biosecurity Act now and into the future. The charging bills do not set the amount of the charges and do not apply any financial impacts on business. The charges and who is liable and exempt from paying these charges will be set and delegated in legislation.

The first charging bill, the Quarantine Charges (Imposition—General) Amendment Bill 2014 will amend the Quarantine Charges (Imposition—General) Act 2014. This bill continues current cost-recovery arrangements to enable effective management of biosecurity risks through the Biosecurity Bill.

This bill will allow the Commonwealth to continue imposing suitable charges for activities and services relating to the administration of Australia's biosecurity system, including scientific analysis, intelligence, inspections and surveillance. This enables the Commonwealth to support and administer a robust, efficient biosecurity system where the appropriate responsibility for costs associated with the system lie with those who oppose the highest risk to our biosecurity status.

The charges will reflect the costs for providing the services, ensuring the department is sufficiently resourced to continue the critical job of protecting Australia's unique animal and plant health status.

Debate adjourned.