Overview of the Grains, Seeds and Hay Industry Funding Scheme
In June 2010, the Grains, Seeds and Hay Biosecurity Industry Funding Scheme (IFS) was introduced to address biosecurity threats relevant to the Western Australian grains, seeds and hay industries. The Scheme was established under the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007 (BAM Act) as a mechanism to enable grain, seed and hay producers to identify the pest and disease priorities at a whole-of-industry level, and then to raise funds for programs that address these priorities.
Funds are raised through a grower contribution that is collected by 'registered receivers' at the first point of sale for grains, seeds and hay — a registered receiver is a produce receiver that purchases or receives 500 tonnes or more of grain, seed and/or hay within a given financial year. These contributions are forwarded to the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA). As per the IFS regulations, DAFWA maintain and administer the Grains, Seeds and Hay Industry Declared Pest Control and Compensation Account in consultation with the industry.
Growers do not have to participate in the Scheme — there is a mechanism that allows them to ‘opt out’. Opting out does not remove the legal requirement to deal with the pests and diseases to which the Scheme relates, but does disqualify the grower from any benefits provided by the Scheme such as assistance and compensation.
The Grains, Seeds and Hay IFS is overseen by a seven-member Industry Management Committee (IMC). The Minister for Agriculture and Food appoints the IMC members after inviting industry nominations and receiving advice from an Industry Appointments Committee. As required by regulation, the majority of the IMC are full participants of the Grains, Seeds and Hay IFS.
The IMC is responsible for approving the biosecurity-related programs funded through the Scheme, and providing advice to the Minister on the Scheme’s area of operation and the contribution rate.
The state government, through DAFWA, provide the necessary support to ensure proper governance and the effective operation of the Scheme and IMC. This includes secretariat, communications, policy and technical support, as well as financial management. Furthermore, the normal regulatory inspection and compliance activities undertaken by DAFWA closely complement the priorities of the IMC.
2013/14 Grains, Seeds and Hay IFS at a glance
- contributions of 30 cents per tonne on the first sale of grain/seed produced in the agricultural area
- contributions of 15 cents per tonne on the first sale of hay produced in the agricultural area
- contributions totalling $4 625 044 were received
- contributions were used to fund programs to control skeleton weed and eradicate three-horned bedstraw
- the cost of the skeleton weed control program was $3 052 000
- the cost of the three-horned bedstraw eradication program was $156 523
- committee costs totalled $37 131
- twelve producers opted-out of the Scheme, with a total of $25 818 refunded to these producers.