Beef producers looking to register or transfer a symbol brand could be forced to fork out up to $1000 in one of the potential outcomes into a review of Queensland's branding regulations.
Supplementary documents on the government's consultation website show regardless of if branding remains compulsory or becomes optional, producers would also go from paying nothing to paying $60 to $70 annually to renew their brands and earmarks.
That renewal fee would be higher than any other state in the country which range from $44.55 in Tasmania to $93 every two years in South Australia.
Currently, cattle producers applying or transferring a three-piece brand or earmark are charged $113.88, while registering a symbol brand costs $330.31 on top of the cost of a three-piece.
However under one of the options, registering a three-piece brand would rise to $300 to $400, while a new symbol brand would cost an additional $500-$600.
The cost of registering a new cattle, sheep or goat earmark could rise from $113.88 to $300-$450 depending on the review's outcome, while a new sheep or goat brand could rise from $123.56 to $300-400.
The steepest rise would be felt by pig producers with the registration or transfer fee of a brand increasing from $54.74 to $300-$400.
As of February 2022, there were approximately 103,706 brands and marks on issue in Queensland.
One of the options in the new review is a more streamlined registration IT system that would cost between $1 million to $2 million to build and $800,000 in annual costs.
Under the proposed revamped IT system, the timeframe of a cattle brand registration would drop from two and a half hours down to 45 minutes, while the time to complete a three-piece brand registration could drop from two hours down to 30 minutes.
"For example, to process a registration of a new brand on a single application involves approximately 51 steps which can take about two and a half hours," the document said.
"Today, many of these functions could be automated.
"The total ongoing annual staffing costs are assumed to be around $360,000 [and] it is anticipated that option two [branding becoming optional] would require slightly less staffing, particularly in relation to checking new earmark applications."
According to the documents, maintaining the registry currently costs $1.97 million with taxpayers footing the bill for 89 per cent.
It also states both of the review options will include an upgrade to the system and in turn the upkeep will be paid for by producers registering or renewing brands.
Queensland Country Life asked Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Minister Mark Furner if the fees would help pay for the system upgrade and staff wages.
The Ferny Grove MP said "the proposed fees reflect Queensland Government policy that those who benefit from a service should pay for it".
"Decisions on changes to Queensland's Brands Act 1915 will only be made after feedback from the consultation process is properly considered," he said.
"Consultation is open until 5.00pm Sunday 15 January 2023 and submissions can be made through the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Engagement Hub, daf.engagementhub.com.au."
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.