Hello, Russell Broadbent here - member for Monash.
The government’s suggestion of a new Biosecurity Protection Levy is a 'cash-grab on already struggling rural communities'.
This levy may appease people in the cities who can afford such luxury beliefs, but it will be at the expense of regional Australia.
In our regional electorate, we’re blessed with some of the most beautiful and fruitful agricultural land in our nation.
We have honest, hard-working farmers who continue to work day in and day out regardless of the circumstances…whether that’s attracting labour, managing debt and price fluctuations or simply responding to ever-changing uncertainties.
That’s why I honour our farmers and appreciate the essential value they make in our electorate, and our nation.
But it seems that government agencies have absolutely no idea about the life of our farmers and what working off the land looks like.
In short, this levy will 'bite the hand that feeds us'.
We must help farmers where we can and stand with the National Farmers Federation to oppose this poorly conceived policy idea now.
The Biosecurity Protection Levy needs to be re-considered.
It needs transparency and it needs to place the burden with those that create the risk - that way it doesn't have to be at the expense of our local farmers.
And that's Justice As I See It.