Citrus Australia say they will "not back down" from fighting the Department of Agriculture on proposed cost hikes on fees and charges for the export industry.
They say this has highlighted over-regulation of the auditing process, and say when cost increases have occurred in the past, others have decreased to balance it out.
Visiting Griffith for the Citrus Forum on Thursday, Citrus Australia CEO Nathan Hancock says this is not the case this time.
"The decreases they have mentioned, and not gone into detail on, do not offset the increases - they are fairly immaterial," Mr Hancock said.
Gary Pandolfo from Mario's Packhouse said while he hadn't worked out the exact costs as yet, he is calling for the department to simplify the protocols, auditing measures and performance standards driving the costs up in the first place.
"It's getting so over the top," Mr Pandolfo said.
"I don't mind the fees but there needs to be balance... there is no quantitative failures in the industry to indicate the necessity for these protocols."
Mr Hancock agrees, and says over 270 pages of reading faces those looking to get certified for export on "department driven regulation", with no direct call from importing countries for these protocols.
While the department says consultation has been conducted, Mr Hancock says they are not consulting the people they should be.
"They are not talking to people on the ground, they are not speaking or listening to individuals who are directly impacted by these decisions," Mr Hancock said.
"Export is what is driving our industry forward, yet there seems to be no reason why more red tape is being added to the process, by the Australian government.
"They admit the rising prices are in part for the 2018-19 Budget Expanded Cost Recovery measure, yet they are the ones who are adding the regulations.
While the citrus forum held talks and information on exports, pests and diseases, chemical use, agri-security, water and improvements in technology, it was clear the most popular topics were water and export.
Talking about export market access, Citrus Australia's market access manager David Daniels said the forum was a chance for a "two-way exchange" of information. And with a turn out of over 60 growers and packers, the attendance proved the interest.
"This forum provided a the opportunity for a two-way exchange so we know where growers and packers here are concerned or interested in," Mr Daniels explained.
He said with over 350 growers and pack houses in the region it was one of the biggest in Australia, and the discussion here would help inform programs and initiatives for the future.
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