Producers have the opportunity to opt out of the relevant Industry Funding Scheme/s. Contributions are mandatory in the first instance, but a producer can opt out and have their annual contribution refunded in full. Opting out of the Schemes does not negate the producers’ responsibility to address biosecurity issues on their property.
Producers who decide to opt out lose all entitlements to assistance and compensation via the Scheme. They are also required under the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007 to manage the pests and diseases to which the Scheme relates wholly at their own expense. After opting out, producers need to contribute to the Scheme/s for at least two consecutive years (depending on the number of years in which the producer had opted out) before they can regain eligibility for any Scheme assistance.
Producers wanting to opt out must do so each year during the June immediately prior to the financial year for which they want to opt out (for example, opt out in June 2018 for the 2018/19 financial year). In order to opt out, producers must complete the 'Notice of Opt Out' form. Completed forms must be lodged with the Director General of the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development between 1 June and 30 June each year.
At the end of the financial year, those that have opted out can receive a full refund of any contributions paid during the year. To receive the refund, producers must complete the 'Refund of Contributions' form. Completed forms must be sent to the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development along with evidence of the payment of contributions. These must be received by 31 July each year (for example, form received by 31 July 2018 for a refund of contributions collected during 2017/18).
Relevant forms can be found on the right-hand side of this page.