By Growcom Manager, Policy & Advocacy Richard Shannon

Payroll tax acts as a significant deterrent to business growth. Employers approaching the threshold at which payroll tax must be paid make decisions to not put on new workers in order to avoid being slapped with a large tax bill.

Compared to many industries, a greater proportion of the costs of producing fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts comes from labour expenses.

Labour can often amount to 30-40% of production costs, in some commodities it can be as high as 70%. So payroll tax impacts our industry disproportionately. 

Letting the handbrake off horticulture involves removing payroll tax for our industry.

So the Queensland Horticulture Council, as part of its election platform A green spring in Queensland, is calling on the next Queensland Government to commit to providing an exemption for horticulture from payroll tax for the next four years.

Unleashing the growth and employment potential of horticulture coming out of COVID-19 will require other direct and indirect forms of taxation to also be reduced, if not removed entirely.

Both power and water prices are candidates long identified to be cut. Less well known outside horticulture are the perverse impacts of the Waste Levy introduced in the middle of last year.

Designed to reduce the amount of waste we generate, it has done nothing more than bolster the government’s budget bottom line.

All the funds raised by the levy go either straight to consolidated revenue or refunded back to local councils.

Meanwhile, without viable biodegradable alternatives and without profit margins to absorb the levy cost, plastic waste remains on farm, either piling up or going up in flames. Everyone can agree this needs fixing.  

So the Queensland Horticulture Council is calling on the next Queensland Government to commit to removing the Waste Levy as it applies to horticulture, or else investing all levy funds raised from horticulture into practical programs and research that will reduce our reliance on single use plastics.

To learn more about A green spring in Queensland visit our website: