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Greens to oppose disallowance of mushroom, mango and onion levy changes

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 21 Aug 2014

The Australian Greens have announced that they will oppose moves to disallow increases and amendments to the levies paid by mushroom, mango and onion growers when the matter comes before the Senate next week.

"The Australian Greens understand that increases and amendments to these levies are supported by growers and provide important investments in their industries," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens agriculture spokesperson said today.

"After consultation with growers and industry groups, I am confident that growers want these levy changes to remain, and that their decision on this increase was the result of a robust and democratic process.

"The Greens will oppose the disallowance motions when they come before the Senate next week.

"Levies are important to the ongoing future of the sector and the changes to these levies will provide important funding for marketing, R&D and plant biosecurity work, supporting growers and contributing to a vibrant, healthy industry.

"We have listened carefully throughout this process, especially in regards to concerns over the percentage of the mushroom levy being directed to R&D compared to marketing. I am satisfied that the important decisions on levy spending were supported by growers.

"The decisions to increase these levies were made by growers, and it would be unwise to unravel them. With Australian agriculture facing a range of pressures, it is important that steps are taken to protect the best interests of growers and their communities.

"I would like to thank those growers and organisations who have spent time working with us on this issue," Senator Siewert concluded.

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