One accomplishment that I’m particularly pleased TBA was able to achieve this year is federal government support for a thoroughbred research and development levy.
These levies have a long history of encouraging industries to raise money for research programs that will produce long term benefits; this spending is then matched by the federal government. TBA began the process of preparing a levy submission more than four years ago and formally lodged an application in 2013.
Unfortunately that application was stalled in Canberra, with the government citing a lack of resources as the reason it could not approve our application. After a significant effort lobbying the Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce, and other senior members of government on the importance of a levy for our industry, TBA was delighted when Mr Joyce committed his support to the levy in the run up to the election. The levy was also supported by Shadow Agriculture Minister, Joel Fitzgibbon.
Since then TBA has been involved in a process of resubmitting our application, which has required extensive meetings with the Department of Agriculture. I’m pleased to say that our final, updated, levy application has just been lodged with Mr Joyce’s office.
We are very hopeful the levy will be established in time for the next financial year and, while it will take time for the mandatory contributions ($10 per stallion and mare return) to fill the levy’s coffers, TBA and other organisations can make voluntary payments that will be matched by government.
This means that we can begin to commission research projects from the start of July 2017. Our modelling shows that the levy is likely to see more than $960,000 spent on research in the 2017/18 financial year, with Racing Australia contributing some $150,000 towards research (which will be matched by government) and also assisting by using the Stud Book to collect the levy.
Given the sporadic and haphazard nature of research spending in our industry historically, I am sure you’ll agree this represents a tremendous outcome. It’s worth reiterating that this levy has been established for breeding and to fund research and outcomes that are important for breeders.
The Minister has referred the submission to his department for assessment.
Thoroughbred Research & Development Levy – Objection period
The Australian Government’s Levy Principles and Guidelines provide for a six-week period for lodgement of objections to a levy proposal. The formal period for any objections will be held over seven weeks – commencing at 9am AEDT on 3 January and expiring at 5pm AEDT on 13 February 2017.
All prospective levy payers wishing to object should clearly outline the aspect of the levy proposal to which they object. They should also list reasons why they oppose the levy and provide suitable supporting arguments and evidence, together with their contact details. Further information about making an objection can be found on page 6 of the Levy Principles and Guidelines. Objectors may require access to TBA’s submission and copies and/or details of the submission are available on request.
Objections may be made in writing to the government, through the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources – Levies, by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org, or by post to:
Attn: Levies Management
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources Locked Bag 4488
KINGSTON ACT 2604
Objections may also be made in writing through the Hon. Barnaby Joyce MP, Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, by email to: email@example.com, or by post at:
The Hon. Barnaby Joyce MP
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources PO Box 6022
CANBERRA ACT 2600
Following the completion of the objection period, the department will provide TBA with anonymised information about any objections received and an opportunity for TBA to provide a response.