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Levies and charges

​If you buy, export, produce, process or sell Australian agricultural produce yourself, or on behalf of another person, you may be required to lodge a return and make a payment to the department.

It is your responsibility as a levy and charge payer to remain aware of your obligations under legislation.

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources collects, administers and disburses agricultural levies and charges on behalf of Australia’s primary industries.

In 2016-17, the department disbursed $790.8 million in levies, charges and Commonwealth matching payments to 18 levy recipient bodies. Australia’s primary industries choosing to invest in the levies system are often better equipped to respond to the emerging trends and challenges that can arise from operating in highly competitive world markets. Revenue that is collected from a levy or charge can be directed to biosecurity preparedness and emergency plant pest and animal disease responses, marketing, research and development and residue testing.

In 2010, the Council of Rural Research and Development Corporations published its report, the Impact of investment in research and development by the Rural Research and Development Corporations, highlighting that for every $1 dollar invested there is an average return of $10.50 over a 25 year timeframe. The report found that the returns on investment were predominantly of an economic benefit through productivity gains, improved market access and quality management. Some environmental and social benefits were also reported from a reduction in the use of chemicals, improvements in food safety, reduced soil erosion, and reduced chemical residues and more efficient water use.

Information about how levies and charges are invested can be found on the relevant primary industry Rural Research and Development Corporation website. You can also contact an industry representative body or other Commonwealth statutory service bodies, such as Plant Health Australia or Animal Health Australia for biosecurity related activities.

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