People and human capacity

The People and Human Capacity Policy Advisory Group (PAG) drives ADF’s policy development and advocacy in the crucial area of people and workforce capacity. The PAG’s scope includes policy areas supporting the attraction, development and retention of a highly skilled workforce for the dairy industry. Key functions of the PAG include developing strategies to promote dairy industry participation, build leadership capacity, and address workforce and skills shortages.


  • People development priorities for industry investment

  • Regional Development Plan engagement

  • Extension strategy

  • Leadership development strategy

  • Workforce development

  • Employment

  • Education

  • Health, safety and wellbeing


  • Promote the attraction, development and retention of a highly skilled workforce for the dairy industry by increasing skills and capacity of people.

  • Develop industry education, employment, training and leadership opportunities.

  • Support the application of health and safety principles across businesses.


Education and training
  • The Australian dairy industry supports increasing funding for Farm Business Management courses at diploma and advanced diploma levels to increase farmers’ business acumen as the industry professionalises and grows.
  • The Australian dairy industry supports incorporating food and fibre education into the National Curriculum.
Health and safety
  • On-farm safety regulations should be practical and outcomes focused. They should improve the culture of safety while not imposing an unnecessary burden on farmers.
  • The Australian dairy industry supports government rebates to assist in the safe operation of quad bikes.
  • The Australian dairy industry supports mandatory adoption of the US Standard ANSI/SVIA-2017 for quad bikes in Australia.
  • Farmers should be protected  from farm trespassers by having protocols in place, including police enforcement backed by Australian criminal law.
  • Skilled, experienced and motivated dairy farm workers and owners are vital to the future of the industry.
  • The Australian dairy industry supports the employment of foreign workers on Australian dairy farms, provided there are no suitable Australian candidates available and all immigration requirements and Australian laws are adhered to.
  • The Australian Government must streamline and fast-track the application and approval process for access to skilled workers.
  • All hours of work (not just full-time days) should count towards the 88-day requirement to get a second-year visa.
  • The Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) skills descriptions for dairy farmers must be revised to align with industry skills descriptions and include dairy on the Skilled Occupation List.
  • The Australian dairy industry does not support the 32.5% tax on working holiday makers proposed by the Australian Government in the 2016-17 Federal Budget.
  • Superannuation payments made by employers to working holiday makers should be re-directed to schemes to increase the supply of local and foreign labour.
  • The Australian dairy industry endorses a dedicated agriculture visa which provides security for the supply of temporary migrants to work on Australian farms.
  • The Australian Government should extend the duration that subclass 417 and 462 visa holders can work with one employer in the same region from six to 12 months.
  • The Australian dairy industry supports providing assistance for new entrants in the dairy industry to own a farm and progress in the industry.
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