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Gabrielle Easter

BY GABRIELLE EASTER

@gab_produceplus

Melon growers vote for R&D, biosecurity levy

Australia melon growers have voted in favour of a levy for biosecurity and research and development

Melon growers vote for R&D, biosecurity levy

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Two-thirds of Australia’s melon growers have voted in favour a establishing grower levies for biosecurity, and research and development (R&D).

The Australian Melon Association (AMA) has released the results of its ballot, showing 70 per cent of growers are in favour of biosecurity levies, and 68 per cent in favour of R&D levies for the A$150m melon industry.

“[AMA] is very pleased that our growers have decided to set up levies that will provide funds for the future and ensure that the melon industry is covered under the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed if another exotic incursion should occur," AMA’s Mark Daunt said.

“The recent incursion of cucumber green mottled mosaic virus provided a sharp reminder of the vulnerability of our industry, which, like all plant industries, has to guard against plant pests, both endemic and exotic.”

After two failed attempts to push levies through, the votes now allow for a business case to be put forward to the minister for agriculture and water resources, with the levy of 0.4c/kg on produce sold expected to commence July 2016.

 
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