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More extensive review enabled for APVMA cost recovery.

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AFFA04/007T - 5 March 2004

More extensive review enabled for APVMA cost recovery

DAFF04/007T 5 March 2004

Proposed changes to cost recovery arrangements for the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) will be deferred to allow for a comprehensive response to a range of issues raised during the public submission phase.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Judith Troeth, said the decision to delay implementation of the proposed reforms would allow for the views and concerns of key stakeholders to be more adequately analysed.

"The APVMA's proposed cost recovery changes attracted a significant number of submissions from a variety of sources, including the chemical industry, producer groups and chemical users," Senator Troeth said.

"With that in mind, I don't believe it is in the best interests of the National Registration Scheme for Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals to rush something into effect without properly considering every view point.

"I have therefore decided defer the reforms until the 2005/2006 financial year."

Senator Troeth said that in order to operate effectively, the APVMA requires additional funding to meet increased Comcover premiums and new functions it is expected to deliver.

Fees and charges have not been changed since the Authority came into existence. The levy has remained constant since the APVMA's inception, except when it was reduced from 0.75 per cent to 0.65 per cent in 1999.

The reforms come after several years of reduced income - largely because of the prolonged effects of the drought.

Senator Troeth acknowledged that, in order for the APVMA to continue to function until the change comes into effect, an interim solution was necessary.

"The Authority's reserves are at an absolute minimum," Senator Troeth said. "Temporary changes to the existing framework will be announced in the near future, ensuring the APVMA has a sound financial base in the intervening period."

Further media inquiries:

Senator Troeth's office: Allison Murphy (02) 6277 3002 or 0408 917 639