The State Liberals have introduced legislation that will force the Weatherill Government to reveal any ministerial directives to the NRM boards, in particular those jacking up the NRM levy, to end Labor’s habit of sneaking NRM tax increases in through the backdoor.
“The Weatherill Government is doubling its tax take from the NRM levy this year and South Australian farmers are going to bear the brunt of the increase to $6.8 million,” said Shadow Minister for Water Michelle Lensink.
“This legislation is designed to protect primary producers from being hit with Labor’s backdoor taxes.
“It is outrageous that the Weatherill Government tried to sneak this tax hike through as an administrative fee.
“The Weatherill Government failed to consult with NRM Boards before almost doubling the tax and has consistently failed to provide adequate details on how the quantum was arrived at.
“This latest tax grab from the Weatherill Government will undermine South Australia’s food producers and cost precious jobs in the sector.
“Minister Hunter needs to admit that the NRM is now just a taxation system aimed at raising more revenue from South Australian food producers.
“The savage increase in the NRM tax comes as the Weatherill Government plans to gouge another $64 million by increasing its tax on waste.
“When the massive increases in the ESL tax are added to the huge increases in the NRM and Solid Waste taxes the Weatherill Government is gouging hundreds of millions of dollars out of South Australia’s struggling economy.
“The Weatherill Government has no respect for the effort country people put in and the risks they take to produce the basics of life for Australia and the rest of the world.
“The Weatherill Government’s relentless tax rises are the reason South Australia has had the highest unemployment in the nation for the last 18 months.
“The Weatherill Government see farmers and businesses as money cows to be milked until they are dry.”