The dairy industry is a big winner with the re-election of the Coalition Government, having squeezed $22 million worth of specific commitments from the Liberal-Nationals in the lead up to the poll.
Labor had targeted the dairy industry with a raft of promises including a minimum farmgate price, as it tried to win the marginal seat of Gilmore on the NSW South Coast, which it appears to have won.
But the Liberal-Nationals matched that with a suite of specific commitments for the industry.
It promised to appoint a dedicated Australian Competition and Consumer Commission "dairy specialist".
The Prime Minister Scott Morrison promised a $22 million package including:
- $10 million to support dairy farmers investing in more energy efficient equipment to reduce energy costs through more energy efficient equipment.
- $8.1 million to extend the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's (ACCC) agriculture unit, a significant boost to the $2.7 million outlined in the 2020 budget.
- $3 million in grants to assist farmer groups to establish farm cooperatives and other collaborative business models;
- $560,000 to facilitate the development of a new dairy industry trading platform.
- $500,000 to services body Dairy Australia to continue its financial and legal advice service to farmers, and to improve legal and financial literacy for contract negotiations with processors.
- $300,000 to develop a real time dairy payment system and supply chain information sharing capacity using blockchain technology.
- $150,000 to develop with processors a simple standard form contract that incorporates requirements of the industry's mandatory code of conduct.
In making the announcement during the campaign, Mr Morrison said the message from dairy farmers around the country was clear: they were continuing to feel the pressure of low prices, an unfair market place, lack of information from the supply chain and high energy costs.
Australian Dairy Farmers president Terry Richardson has congratulated Mr Morrison, Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud and the Liberal National government for being returned for a third term.
ADF had worked closely with the Coalition in the lead up to this election and remained firmly committed to working with the government on getting positive outcomes for dairy farmers.
Dairy farmers are looking for and expect leadership from industry representatives as well as government.- Terry Richardson
"The Coalition pledged during the election campaign to commit $22 million in projects to benefit the dairy sector, including over $1 million in initiatives to be delivered by ADF," he said.
"Dairy farmers are looking for and expect leadership from industry representatives as well as government.
"ADF stands ready and welcomes the opportunity to work with the government on delivering these projects and we are confident that there will be positive benefits for the dairy farmers as well as the wider industry."
This story first appeared on Australian Dairyfarmer