Dairy group want royal commission into industry

By Rodney Woods

Advocacy group Dairy Connect has challenged political parties and MPs to signal their support for or against a royal commission into the Australian dairy industry.

This follows a pledge by National Party candidate for the Eden-Monaro by-election Trevor Hicks, who said if elected he would move a motion to enact a royal commission into dairying nationally.

Dairy Connect chief executive officer Shaughn Morgan said that while the industry had been regularly inspected and analysed, there had never been a broad-ranging inquiry to complete a critical analysis of the entire supply chain.

“There have been a number of stakeholder and parliamentary committees looking into the Australian dairy industry over many years, with many of their reports now gathering dust on the shelves of parliamentary libraries and MPs’ offices,” Mr Morgan said.

“Many of the recommendations from past inquiries had either been paid ‘lip service’ or quite simply ignored.”

Mr Morgan said Dairy Connect supported the call for a royal commission where the terms of reference specifically looked at ways to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Australian dairy industry and thus kept future generations of dairy farmers on the land, providing fresh nutritious milk 24/7 to consumers.

“The recommendations could set the platform by which the dairy value-chain industry could return to viability and provide a pathway to the future for the long-term growth of Aussie dairy farmers,” he said.

“It could supplement that work being done by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, who are supervising the implementation of the Dairy Mandatory Code of Conduct.”