News & events
Notification of 6-week levy objection period commencing 10 September 2020
The process for changing the mix of the cherry levy components has been ongoing for some time. The CGA levy amendment proposal was submitted in March 2020 to Minister Littleproud. The Minister has considered the proposal and has requested CGA conduct a new objection period on the proposed levy structure as it was amended to activate the EPPR levy after the 2017 vote. This will be a final opportunity for any objections to be raised on the following structure for the 7 cents/kg cherry levy:
- 5.00 cents/kg Research & development levy
- 0.30 cents/kg Plant Health Australia (PHA) levy
- 1.00 cents/kg Marketing levy
- 0.70 cents/kg Emergency Plant Pest Response (EPPR) Deed levy
An industry ballot held 27 Oct – 10 Nov 2017 showed strong support (71% of those who voted were in favour) of restructuring the cherry levy components to increase the R&D (to 5.70 cents/kg) and PHA (to 0.30 cents/kg) levies and decrease the marketing levy (to 1 cent/kg). The EPPR levy would have stayed at nil. However, over the last few years, the cherry industry became an affected party in responses under the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed (EPPRD) for varroa mite, brown marmorated stink bug and Torres Strait fruit fly. In order to pay the cherry industry contribution to those responses, it has become necessary to activate the EPPR levy.
As advised to you previously, we estimate that the EPPR levy at 0.7 c/kg will be active for around three years in order to meet the EPPR financial commitments. The growers have made it very clear in consultation that whatever changes are made to the levy components, the overall levy rate should stay at 7 cents/kg. Therefore, in order to increase the EPPR levy to 0.7 cents/kg, CGA reduced the proposed R&D rate to 5.0 cents/kg. When the EPPR levy is reset to nil after repayment, we intend that the R&D rate be returned to 5.7 cents/kg, per your 2017 vote result.
Here’s a summary of the proposed amendment:
IMPORTANT: Under the EPPR deed, CGA must begin repaying its contributions, which have so far been underwritten by the Australian Government. If the altered levy proposal above is not supported by levy payers, then it’s likely we will still need to activate the EPPR levy in order to repay these contributions. For this reason, CGA considers it important to adjust the levy proposal as we have, to avoid a situation where there is no choice but to raise the overall levy rate.
OBJECTION PERIOD DETAILS
The objection period will run from 10 September to 22 October 2020
A copy of the levy amendment proposal, including supporting documents, submitted to Minister Littleproud in March 2020 and this notification is on our website (https://www.cherrygrowers.org.au/news/?item=152).
Objections should be:
- submitted in writing
- state if you are a cherry levy payer
- give the reason(s) for your objection
- provide evidence to support your objection.
The submission can be sent to:
- Cherry Growers Australia at email@example.com or
- Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment at firstname.lastname@example.org
- The department will de-identify objections submitted to them before providing to CGA.
CGA will respond to all objections.
Please share this notification with other cherry growers that are levy payers.
If you have questions please contact me (email@example.com).
Mr Tom Eastlake
President, Cherry Growers Australia
10 September 2020
Levy amendment and supporting documents
- 2020 Amendment proposal
- Ballot pack letter
- Ballot paper
- CGA - compliance with levy principles - 2018
- CGA Levy update 2018
- CGA Levy update 2019
- CGA levy paper for industry discussion 2017
- Final report to Minister - CGA levy May 2018
- Final report to Minister - CGA levy Sept 2018
- Final report to Minister - CGA levy Nov 2017
- Final report to Minister - CGA levy June 2016
- Intention to activate the EPPRD levy - May 2018
- Levy results advice - May 2018
- Levy vote advice - Aug 2017
- Levy vote advice - Nov 2017
- Levy workshops - Presidents report 2017
- Projected funds raised by new levy