Jan 25, 2016
Welcome to the New Year. I hope you have all had the chance for a short break at least, and are ready to work together to tackle the challenges and opportunities that 2016 brings.
In recent years, Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) has strengthened dairy’s ties with Canberra to raise the profile of the issues that matter most to our farmers. ADF has maintained our reputation of acting apolitically, being accessible to all politicians, and being willing to listen.
This year we will continue to build this profile, while simultaneously building on our capacity to deliver value to members.
So far in 2016, key members of the ADF team have visited members in central New South Wales. In February our CEO will visit Western Australia – to talk and listen about priorities for the year ahead. These are the first of many 2016 interstate meetings to follow.
I encourage you to take the opportunity and introduce yourself to our team. The passion and commitment that the ADF staff has to help achieve a stronger future for our industry is evident, and we are all prepared to listen to your thoughts, ideas and constructive feedback.
The beginning of the year has been challenging for farmers. Extreme weather conditions brought drought or very dry conditions in Tasmania, West Victoria, South Australia as well as savage bushfires in Western Australia. ADF is seeking to assist its state members with recovery efforts. I commend the efforts of WA Farmers, Western Dairy and Dairy Australia, in providing practical support and counsel to the affected farmers in WA.
Events like these are a timely reminder that so many aspects of our business are affected by elements beyond our control. ADF is committed to ensure that farmers have the information and resources they need to take control of what they can. Dairy Australia also has a great resource of tools and information to assist in preparation and recovery.
In February, ADF will host an environmental scanning and industry planning workshop with key stakeholders such as our state members and Dairy Australia. These sessions will aid in setting our advocacy priorities for 2016, to establish a sound policy platform which ensures we can capitalise upon growth opportunities delivered by 2015’s advocacy.
I look forward to getting out and about in order to meet with as many members and non-members as possible over the course of 2016 to ensure ADF can continue to deliver value for the industry.
Jan 24, 2016
Over the course of 2015, the Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) increased its advocacy focus on the impacts of the Murray Darling Basin Plan (MDBP) and the need for changes to the Plan and its implementation.
Significant achievements were made in 2015 with the Federal Government committing to legislation to cap water buybacks in the MDBP at 1500 gigalitres (GL).
Further, indications that more flexibility will be provided for environmental water trading were welcome. However, the ADIC still has concerns regarding
the MDBP’s unrealistic timelines as well as a lack of planned transition and structural adjustment.
2016 is a critical year in the Plan’s implementation. The deadline for the Sustainable Diversion Limit (SDL) adjustment mechanism is imminent. Progress
with state offset projects leading up to this June 2016 review is also of significant concern.
Secure access to quality water is paramount to dairy’s future. Reduced access to the water resources the industry relies on will impact dairy’s profitability,
productivity and international reputation. To ensure that the dairy industry’s key priorities are effectively represented and addressed in this discussion,
the ADIC has re-formed its Water Taskforce.
The ADIC Water Taskforce, chaired by Victorian dairyfarmer Daryl Hoey, provides a cross-industry group to support the ADIC in driving for pro-dairy solutions
in current and future opportunities for review and change.
The priorities of the Taskforce for 2016 are to seek a review and delay the 450GL ‘upwater’ as part of a stock take to better understand the effects (both
positive and negative) of water recovery. Further, the Taskforce will also push for the delivery of the full 650 GL in environmental offsets to ensure
any shortfall does not have to be covered by farmers. Other targets include a more transparent water market and information as well as ongoing monitoring
and support for regional and state water programs including the Northern Basin and Menindee Lakes and Connections Reviews.
For further information about the ADIC’s Water Taskforce contact the ADF Office via (03) 8621 4200.
Dec 21, 2015
The Coalition’s response to the independent review of the Water Act 2007 was released in December 2015. The Government’s decision to adopt all of the recommendations, some wholly and others partially, including to provide greater trading flexibility for the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder (CEWH), is positive new for Australian dairy farmers.
The Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) has lobbied hard for increased flexibility for the CEWH in optimising environmental outcomes in ways that
ensure dairy producers have better access to water supplies. Dairy has proved a flexible and responsible user of water. We have adapted our practices
to be more water-efficient. However, reduced access to water resources is already putting pressure on dairy’s productivity and profitability. This
CEWH flexibility is key to helping our industry remain viable. It will also ensure a balanced approach to achieving environmental outcomes in the Murray
The Government’s stated commitment to continue to work towards achieving a total 650GL supply offset is also positive. Achieving the full amount through
environmental works means more water stays in the irrigation pools.
Chair of the ADIC’s Basin Taskforce, Daryl Hoey described the response as a positive first step but highlighted greater improvements in the implementation
of the Act and the Murray Darling Basin Plan are still required.
“That the Government didn’t agree with the submissions of many to amend the Act to unambiguously state a triple-bottom-line objective or to strengthen
the current implementation of the legislation is of concern. Such an approach is critical,” Mr Hoey said.
“It’s good to see the Government amend timelines to some evaluations and reviews under the Act. We now need such revisions to be applied to all elements
of the Act.
“In particular, there is a need for a robust evaluation of environmental, economic and social impacts before considering an additional 450 gigalitres (GL) of water being taken from agriculture.”
To see the ADIC submission to the Water Amendment Bill 2015 click here.
Nov 01, 2015
The Australian Dairy Industry Council’s (ADIC) has expressed concern in a submission to the Senate Inquiry into the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, regarding the impact of the Basin Plan on dairy business viability.