Northern Rivers Business Magazine
One of the core industries of the Far North Coast is agriculture. Our producers create employment and invest in the region, as do the processors, transport companies and retailers associated with their products. So when the agricultural industry is affected by a State Government policy decision it filters through to the rest of us in the region.
Recently the NSW Nationals called on the Shadow Minister for Primary Industries to place a moratorium on Livestock Health and Pest Authority (LH&PA) rates. These are rates which are charged to landowners to help safeguard against agricultural diseases and pests, to assist in managing stock movements and to help those in drought.
Whilst these are worthwhile and essential services, recent restructuring of the authority by the Rees Labor Government means that stock rates have been raised excessively, on top of the pest insect levy.
As a result, the NSW Nationals Member are calling on the Rees Labor Government to place an immediate moratorium on all Livestock Health and Pest Authority (LH&PA) rates and change the $14 million locust levy from a loan into a grant. We have also launched a petition calling for an immediate moratorium to be put on current LH&PA rates until they are re-issued on a fairer basis and capped within the inflation rate.
This is not the time for huge cost increases to primary producers or small businesses which are essential in helping to stimulate the currently below par economy through investment and employment.
Copies of the petition are available from my office at 55 Carrington Street, Lismore or by ringing 66213624.