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More engagement needed, says UDV president

By Country News

UDV president Paul Mumford says a new national body to represent the dairy industry would be beneficial after further consultation with farmers.

The Australian Dairy Plan Committee's Joint Transition Team released a report on Wednesday, January 29, recommending a new model called NewCo B, to restructure the way the dairy industry operates.

Joint Transition Team chair Shirley Harlock said the team’s analysis confirmed a view that current industry institutional arrangements were no longer fit for purpose.

“I encourage everyone in the industry to read the report carefully and to lend your support for implementation of a new, modern organisation that would enable our great dairy industry to prosper nationally and internationally into the future,” she said.

Mr Mumford said the report suggested what a unified model would look like, but more work was required in order to assist farmers.

“It’s now been put to the state dairy farming organisations to open the discussion up with our members and farmers, to identify what the farmers are wanting out of a united national voice, and whether it’s an appropriate model,” he said.

Mr Mumford said feedback submissions to the Australian Dairy Plan Committee from industry members were due on Saturday, February 29, and that the period of time for engagement was too short to get the project right.

“We put in a request for an extension for that deadline and it has been granted, I've been told the new date will be extended for a month,” he said.

“We need a broader conversation on legislation and how policy leaders address farmers’ issues, because this document doesn’t delineate between state boundaries.”

Mr Mumford said the new report brought on many questions that still need to be answered, including how accountability will be held and to whom, how processors collect levies and how the new six regional dairy offices will be identified and run.

To read the Joint Transition Team's report, visit: https://www.dairyplan.com.au/