The Far North’s peak horticultural lobby group is urging the State Government to remove stamp duty on agricultural insurance products to alleviate cost imposts on growers.

With the region at the frontline of unpredictable weather conditions, FNQ Growers believes abolishing stamp duty would make insurance more affordable for growers, and growers less reliant on the public purse after a natural disaster.

“The Queensland Government collects nine per cent on agricultural insurance premiums and the GST – and is one of only a few states left in Australia doing this,” FNQ Growers chair Joe Moro said.

“The Victorian, New South Wales and the South Australian state governments have already abolished this inefficient tax, and we call on the Palaszczuk Government to do the same.”

Mr Moro said the far-reaching impacts of natural disasters meant there has been a great need for growers to protect crops, livestock and agricultural equipment.

“We have witnessed, and experienced, Queensland’s unpredictable weather conditions, with our farmers livelihoods devastated by floods, cyclones and fire in recent times,” Mr Moro said.

“I’m sure that most farmers would generally agree the onus is on them to mitigate against the risk, however, for Queensland farmers the impost of stamp duty is driving up the cost of agricultural insurance leaving many farmers who are already facing precarious financial situations due to external pressures, struggling to afford the high premiums.”

Mr Moro said the removal of stamp duty on agricultural insurance products would be a welcome relief for growers, who endure the impost of high costs on other critical utilities including electricity and water.