For the first time in a decade Australian dairy farmers will get a say on how much money is invested in the industry services managed and delivered by Dairy Australia – an outcome sought and welcomed by Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF).
Yesterday, the Levy Poll Advisory Committee (LPAC) recommended that a poll of all dairy farmers be held to set the future level of the dairy service levy – a levy that funds the range of Dairy Australia’s programs, including research and innovation.
“This is good news for dairy farmers,” says ADF president Terry Richardson. “They can now consider the current levy, or a potential increase, to ensure the investment in farmer RD&E meets their needs.”
LPAC members will now develop the voting options which will go on a ballot, including LPAC’s recommended option, expected by September 2021. LPAC will continue seeking input and feedback from dairy farmers in the coming weeks to determine the voting options, including a preferred LPAC option.
“As the voice of dairy farmers ADF is deeply committed to working with our members, LPAC, Dairy Australia and the broader levy payer farmer base to develop the voting options,” Mr Richardson says.
“Now that it has been decided to activate a dairy levy poll a comprehensive process of analysis, consultation and scenario planning needs to be undertaken to develop the voting options. It is essential that this process delivers clear and concise feedback from farmers, recognising the need of LPAC and the Minister for Agriculture to recommend one clear option when the levy poll is held in March 2022.”
Mr Richardson says the ADF is yet to form a view on the levy poll options that should be presented to levy payers.
“However, we do anticipate that an option to maintain current levels will be included in the levy poll, together with any options for an increase that LPAC may determine appropriate,” Mr Richardson says.
“The levy poll provides dairy farmers with the opportunity to have a say on an important investment that works to benefit their dairy farm businesses and advance the industry as a whole,” Mr Richardson says.
About Australian Dairy Farmers
Australian Dairy Farmers is the recognised national policy and advocacy organisation working to improve profitability and sustainability of dairy farming in Australia. Representing Australia’s six dairying states, Australian Dairy Farmers state membership comprises representatives from Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia. These state bodies are known as State Dairy Farmer Organisation (SDFO). Australian Dairy Farmers provides the SDFOs with support and representation on a national level.
Australian Dairy Farmers is responsible jointly (with Dairy Australia) for recommending the Levy Poll Advisory Committee (LPAC) Chair and Deputy Chair as well as providing two representatives to the LPAC. Furthermore, ADF is charged with providing a recommendation to the LPAC about whether there should be a poll as well as whether there should be a change in the dairy service levy and, if so, the nature of that change
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