Australian Dairy Farmers has again called on the Victorian Farmers Federation to pay levies it has collected from milk producers and owes to the national body.
ADF president Rick Gladigau, Mt Torrens (SA), said his group had proposed mediation between the two bodies to resolve the issue, but wanted the outstanding levies paid first.
The VFF stopped passing on dairy farmers' levies, believed to be about $344,000 a year, about 12 months ago.
Mr Gladigau met with VFF president Emma Germano and chief executive Brendan Tatham at a recent Rural Press Club of Victoria breakfast, in Melbourne, where they discussed the matter.
"It's a fair bit of money. How about we pay the money up, then we can talk," Mr Gladigau said.
"It's now 12 months since we have had any money at all, and it's sitting on their balance sheet. Who operates a business like this?
"I'd like to see them pay the levies they are holding; that is going to make the discussion a lot easier."
The VFF's decision has been criticised by farmers.
Mr Gladigau said he approached Ms Germano at the breakfast "because she won't come and speak to me, but she then made accusations that [this situation] was my fault.
"As I said to her, we are looking at the mediation path. We have to find a suitable mediator.
"I want an independent [person] sitting in the room. It needs to be someone who knows how to do mediation, not some fly-by-nighter.
"At the end of the day, it's 'pay us the money you owe us, the farmers are paying it to you - you are withholding those funds'."
VFF president Emma Germano said the ball was in the ADF's court.
"Our offer still stands for a meeting between the VFF and ADF. The ball is in their court," she said.
Mr Gladigau said Victoria provided 64 per cent of Australia's milk, which was why the levy was so high.
"That's what it is, in the constitution. If you want to change the funding model, change the constitution," he said.
He said the ADF was undergoing a reform process, which didn't happen overnight.
"That's the way it has to be paid, until things are changed," he said.
Victoria had approved the levy payment, and the amounts paid, in 2012.
The withholding of the levy "doesn't help" ADF, he said, but the organisation was looking for other funding streams.
"I said to Emma, we can't keep relying on farmers or members to be supporting us 100 per cent, there have to be other revenue streams," Mr Gladigau said.
United Dairyfarmers of Victoria vice president/acting chair Bernie Free, Winslow (Vic.), said he didn't believe there needed to be mediation, but the levies owed should be paid in full.
"Something like $360,000 needs to go into ADF yesterday," Mr Free said.
"There needs to be a discussion at UDV policy council level as to whether we wish to pull the trigger on the process for discussing whether the fee is too high or whether we even want to be in the ADF," he said.
'That discussion has to be at UDV policy council level - and the appropriate letter needs to go to ADF and we have 12 months to negotiate it, while we still pay the bill."
Dairy Farmers of Victoria president Mark Billing, Colac (Vic.), said the organisation's long term goal was to be in a position to support the ADF financially and through membership.
"Dairy Farmers Victoria supports ADF and the role it plays in the industry, and we need to be a part of that," Mr Billing said.
"VFF is a member of ADF, the UDV is not, because it is not an entity - it only exists inside of VFF.
"VFF and ADF needs to sort out their issues. Once that all settles, DFV stands ready to speak to ADF as to how we can support them."
The VFF was contacted for comment.
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