Research project seeking ways to identify levy payers

17 September 2015

The Review of MLA process for registering and determining voting entitlements was undertaken by MLA at the request of the peak industry councils to investigate the most effective way to identify levy payers and calculate voting entitlements.

This project looked at the current process for MLA member registration and AGM voting entitlements and made recommendations on how best to achieve an increased level of accuracy in identification of levy payers and transparency around this process. The project also took into account the potential for MLA to move towards an electronic voting system.

The lack of levy payer identification was a key theme in two recent Senate inquiries and this project is a direct action in response to these, in particular Recommendation two in the inquiry into Industry structures and systems governing levies on grass-fed cattle.

The aims of this project were to:

  • Simplify the process of identifying levy-payers, membership applications and voting entitlements
  • Reduce administrative burden on producers
  • Improve the accuracy of the entitlement calculation; and
  • Through this means, improve confidence in MLA’s process.

The final report considered a number of methods and identified three possible legitimate options:

  1. NLIS / NVD leverage: involves a change to forms and information collection procedures so agents collect additional data to identify levy payer - removes producer self-declarations (report: option 1)
  2. Legislative pathway: requires a change in legislation with agents providing data to Dept Agriculture – Levies Revenue Service (report: option 2)
  3. Legislative pathway: requires a change in legislation with agents providing data via Dept Agriculture  – Levies Revenue Service directly on to MLA’s nominated commercial data services and registry commercial provider (report: option 2a - hybrid)

These final options are currently being reviewed by the peak industry councils. A number of these options require legislative change which will influence the implementation timeline. The peak industry councils will advise, on behalf of industry, the direction to progress the process of better levy payer identification to the next stage.

The full report can be viewed here

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