Benefits of a Levy
Previously most work done on behalf of all forest growers was funded by voluntary levies and subscriptions paid by members of the FFA and FOA.
The new levy means that non-member forest owners will also contribute. But because FFA & FOA members represent about 80% of the harvest, they will still pay the lion's share of the costs.
Indeed, money is not the main reason for the referendum – it's about bringing all growers into the industry loop, so they know what's happening and can play their part in a more cohesive industry. The levy also allows planning and partnership funding commitments in a way that annual voluntary arrangements cannot. This has become more important with the increased expectations of industry commitment to research in particular by government.
This will be particularly important in the next few years as forests planted in the 1990s are harvested. Many owners of these forests do not belong to any industry organisation and suffer because of that, as does the industry.