Biosecurity Levy: ConsultationJuly, 2017.
Consultation with the New Zealand Plantation Forest industry has begun on the proposal for a Biosecurity Levy to allow the sector to meet the response costs of a biological incursion under the Government Industry Agreement (GIA).
FOA and FFA are preparing an application for a levy under the Biosecurity Act 1993 to meet obligations under the Plantation Forestry GIA for Biosecurity Readiness and Response.
Over the next few months details covering the composition, administration and management of a Biosecurity Levy will be presented to the industry for feedback.
The greatest threat to the plantation forest industry is a biosecurity incursion which could affect all growers. An incursion does not respect forest land boundaries, ownership or size. Effective management requires government and forest growing sector collaboration.
This levy under the Biosecurity Act is completely separate from the existing Harvested Wood products (HWP) Levy. The HWP levy is used to fund the Forest Biosecurity Surveillance Programme, so can be used to find and identify an incursion.
But the HWP levy terms specifically excludes it being used to fund a response to an actual incursion. The levy would not have sufficient capacity to cope. Nor is it possible to put commodity levy capacity aside to fund a future incursion.
The forest industry GIA response will be initially funded by borrowings from commercial entities (bank loan), with the levy acting as collateral and subsequently being invoked to service any loan. The levy will initially be set at zero until an incursion is responded to under the GIA protocols.
For further information contact: Glen Mackie, Forest Owners Association.