What does passing of Dairy Levy Poll Bill mean for levy payers?

Mar 21, 2016

The Dairy Levy Poll process is set to be streamlined following the passing of legislation in March 2016 to alter review procedures while retaining a strong democratic process for farmers.

The passage of the Bill provides certainty around the process for the 2017 levy review process and future reviews. Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) has welcomed the passage of the Bill, re-emphasising that this is not about removing Dairy Australia from scrutiny, but instead about streamlining the process and making sure every levy dollar invested delivers value back to farmers.

ADF thanked the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, the Hon. Barnaby Joyce and the Department of Agriculture for championing the Bill on behalf of dairy farmers, who voted to make the changes to the process in November 2015.

The changes mean that instead of a mandatory poll, every five years, an industry advisory committee will review whether there is a need to change the levy or conduct a poll. If no change in the levy is recommended, there will not be a poll. However, a poll must be held if it is recommended there be a change in the levy.

The changes also provide a mechanism to allow dairy farmers to request a poll with the support of at least 15 per cent of levy votes.

Now that the legislation is passed ADF will oversee the development of more in-depth procedures for the revised process.

For further information regarding the Dairy Levy Poll process review, visit www.dairylevypollreview.com.au

Levy poll changes get the go-ahead

Feb 29, 2016

The Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, the Hon. Barnaby Joyce, has supported changes to the dairy industry levy poll process, voted on by levy payers in 2015.

The Bill to amend the current Act was introduced to the lower house on 11 February 2016, and debated on 25 February 2016. Debate in the Senate commenced on 29 February and ADF currently awaits a final decision on the Bill.

“Australia’s dairy sector is an important and forward-looking industry, with good leadership and a strong vision for its future,” Minister Joyce said.

“Levy payers have demonstrated strong support for these changes, which will simplify and streamline the dairy levy process.”

Mrs Jolliffe said the changes are expected to result in a simpler, less costly levy poll process, while still ensuring accountability in spending levy funds is retained.

“This means these levy funds can be directed towards vital research, development and extension programs, increasing productivity and profitability and continuing to strengthen innovation within our industry.”

For more information on the levy poll changes please see www.dairylevypollreview.com.au.


Voters say “yes” to Levy Poll Process Review recommendations

Dec 07, 2015

The results of voting on the Dairy Levy Poll Process Review were delivered on 2 December 2015, with the majority of voters in favour of the recommended changes. The levy payer vote drew 24.70% of votes, with 89.95% voting in support of the recommended changes.

ADF President, Simone Jolliffe said the Federal Government has now be advised of the outcomes of the three month consultation process.

“The essential question was whether levy payers believed we should opt for a levy poll only when a change in the levy was being sought,” said Mrs Jolliffe.

“Every levy payer has been contacted through the consultation process. They’ve been provided opportunity to comment and to vote for or against the recommendations of the review. The most significant recommendation is that a levy poll should only be held if a change to the levy is proposed.

“The response from levy payers including through the vote, which closed on Friday 27 November, provides a strong signal that dairy farmers believe the industry should make the changes to the levy poll process.”

Once the changes are made, if farmers believe a poll is necessary, there is a failsafe mechanism for a group of levy payers representing at least 15 per cent of levy votes to call a Dairy Australia general meeting and propose a resolution that a poll be held.

“Against the benchmark of a shareholder vote, the consultation and voter turnout for this review demonstrates significant engagement and support by levy payers,” Mrs Jolliffe said.

 

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