The Federal Government has approved the tea tree industry’s
request to establish two new levies by matching funds with
$720,000 over the next four years.
From the July 1, growers will pay 25 cents per kilogram of tea
tree oil produced, for a compulsory research and development
Australian Tea Tree Industry Association chief executive Tony
Larkman said he was delighted the Federal Government had
approved the levy requests.
“The tea tree industry tried to get a levy up and running in
1995. It was voted down,” he said.
“The industry has developed in a huge number of different ways,
and it’s probably one of the best things to ever happen to the
“It basically means we’re no longer a new and emerging
industry. We can now say that we’re an emerged industry and we
can stand on our own two feet.”
The compulsory research and development levy is capped at 0.5
per cent of the farm-gate value of the product.
“That’s where the forward estimates got their figures from,
basing it on a 750,000 kilogram crop at 25 cents,” Mr Larkman
The 25 cents per kilogram will be collected from the grower by
the Commonwealth then matched, with the funds handed to a
research and development corporation to be managed.
“What we’re hoping to do is, starting off slowly and relatively
small, using R&D to drive and develop our industry, push
into export markets, and make sure that in particular the issue
of adulteration is addressed very carefully and very
conscientiously,” Mr Larkman said.
Mr Larkman also hoped the levy funds would be used to improve
production practices and processes in Australia.
“So that a grower has access to better seed, or better clones
if that’s the way they choose to go, and also better agronomic
information for pest management and nutrition for tea tree,” he
Planning for biosecurity issues
The second levy approved by the Federal Government is an
emergency plant pest response levy, initially set at a
But it may be set at a positive rate to help cover shared costs
between industry and government in response to plant and
“If we get a biosecurity problem, a classic example is myrtle
rust in our industry, not only will we have a say at the table
about how it’s going to be managed, we’ll also hopefully be
able to assist growers financially,” Mr Larkman said.
“And most important emotionally, if they do have an incursion
and it does cause them a disaster.
“The really good thing is that it can be equitably shared
amongst all growers, the management and hopefully the
destruction of any problem.”
The news delivered in the budget this
week comes more than eight months after growers voted
overwhelmingly in favour of them.
“We got an amazing 96 per cent yes. Absolutely delighted with
the response, and that was for both levies,” Mr Larkman said.