Important Information: Emergency Plant Pest Response (EPPR) Levy
• The “Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed” (EPPRD) has recently been finalised. • This deed establishes a partnership between Australian governments and plant industries, providing a mechanism for dealing with plant pest incursions. • In order to sign the deed, the Australian Almond Industry must have an established and agreed process for raising funds to cover the industry’s proportion of costs of a response to eradicate an emergency plant pest. • Consequently, the ABA is proposing to establish an Emergency Plant Pest Response (EPPR) levy. • The EPPR levy will initially be set to zero and will only be activated in the event of an exotic pest or disease outbreak affecting almonds, which is considered appropriate for an eradication response. • In the event that the EPPR levy is activated, the levy rate will be determined according to the level of industry funds required to cover the almond industry’s share of the costs to eradicate the related pest or disease. • Plant Health Australia (PHA) is currently develop- ing a comprehensive Biosecurity Plan for the entire Australian Nut Industry. • This aims to identify major potential exotic pest or disease threats to the Australian Nut Industry , including the Australian Almond Industry, and develop risk management strategies. • The list of identified threats are ranked in terms of the estimated risk to industry should an outbreak occur, depending upon the expected impact.
• Each identified threat is then apportioned cost- sharing arrangements that would apply in the event of an outbreak, ranging from 100% Govern- ment funded to 80% funded by industry, dependant upon the level of public or private good of eradication. • If the Cost Sharing Deed has been signed by the relevant industry, the Australian Government will provide up-front funds to cover the Industry’s assigned proportion of costs, and the EPPR levy will then be activated to repay the Government, over a maximum period of 10 years. • Once the required funds for eradication response have been raised, the EPPR levy rate would return to zero. • Under the Deed, growers who have crops destroyed as part of the eradication effort would be eligible for reimbursement of their direct losses. • In the event of an incursion, Industry will have a full and formal role in the decision making process. A key example of an emergency pest and disease outbreak affecting plant health is citrus canker. If the Cost Sharing Deed arrangements had been in force when this recent outbreak occurred, the Australian Government would have provided a loan to cover 100% of the industry share of eradication costs, with the citrus industry having a period of up to ten years repay. Growers whose trees were destroyed would have been eligible for reimbursement of direct losses.