New cost recovery regulations will entrench APVMA inefficiency

    19 June 2013

    Wednesday 19 June 2013 (Canberra) – CropLife Australia is disappointed that the federal government is persisting with policies that burden Australian agriculture with increased cost and regulatory demands in order to support an inefficient regulator and a misguided reform agenda.

    CropLife Australia CEO, Matthew Cossey said today, “Regulations tabled in Parliament this week will increase the cost of registering crop protection products, without any indication of how the efficiency of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) will be improved. An inefficient and costly regulator means that farmers will have to pay more for the core tools and products they need to maintain productivity in broad acre cropping, horticulture and other agricultural production. These increased costs place an extra, unnecessary burden on farmers that will filter down the food supply chain.

    “The increases in fees and levies are scheduled to occur despite CropLife Australia, the National Farmers Federation and a number of other agriculture industry organisations raising concerns about the government’s approach to cost recovery.

    “These new cost recovery arrangements do not reflect best practice or sound policy principles. The fact that the government is pushing through changes to the APVMA’s cost recovery arrangements before the ‘First Principles’ review of cost recovery arrangements has been completed highlights how fundamentally flawed and illogical this process has been.

    “In a less than efficient, functioning regulatory system, costs recovered from industry entrench the regulator’s inefficient operations and procedures. This is currently the case with the APVMA and for the sake of Australia’s agricultural productivity, it must be changed.

    “Through a three year legislative reform process, which was intended to increase the efficiency of the APVMA, not one regulation or requirement has been removed or reduced and several more processes have been added. Having failed to deliver any efficiency through regulatory reform, the government must now seek to improve regulatory efficiency through administrative measures implemented by the APVMA. It remains unacceptable for industry to continue to fund such an inefficient system”, concluded Mr Cossey.

    Contact: Jessica Lee (Manager – Public Affairs)  Ph: 02 6230 6399  Mob: 0410 491 261