South Coast Flood Recovery Assistance

Jun 07, 2016

Since heavy rains and wild winds hit the south east cost on 5 June, flooding has significantly affected dairying regions in Queensland, New South Wales and Tasmania. These floods have added further issues to the industry which is already dealing with significant strain and instability.

The Australian dairy industry has mobilised quickly to provide farmers with support. 48 hours on from the damaging events, recovery assistance is the primary focus. We are working to understand the full impact of the floods to ensure targeted assistance for farmers. 

We are working to ensure farmers have adequate access to clean water and power to enable them to keep milking. Farmers are working to protect and care for their animals during these extreme events. Unfortunately, there have been reports of cows being lost to the floods and we empathise with farmers having to face this difficult situation.

Fencing is also an immediate concern, with the high water speed having destroyed many farm fences, as well as loss of pasture and newly sown crops. 

Please see below for information on seeking flood recovery assistance, further updates will be made as the information is made available: 

If my property has been affected, what should I be doing?

  • Try to focus on your priorities by writing a quick checklist of all the jobs that come to mind – classifying them by what needs to be done today, this week and later in the month. Download your Dairy Australia ‘recovery priority list’ here.
  • Take photos of the damage on your property to build up an inventory of losses (i.e. pumps, fencing, feed, etc).
  • Keep records of damage on your property until Helplines become available. Accurate and timely information will help the relevant departments secure the best possible level of disaster assistance.
  • Keep all your receipts associated with recovery efforts.
  • Remember to ask for help. 

What other support is there to assist me?

  • Find out about the options for milking without electricity supply here
  • Find out how to manage the health and welfare of cows during floods here.

 


Dairy pays tribute to Max Jelbart

Jun 06, 2016

The industry has bid farewell to dedicated dairy advocate, Max Jelbart who sadly passed away in June.

Mr Jelbart, who farmed successfully in Gippsland and Caldermade, was an admired intellectual who shared his time and knowledge freely.

During his career in dairy, Max served on various industry boards and committees and was a supplier of Murray Goulburn for 38 years – and a director since 2012.

A Director on the ADF Board for seven years and a past President of the United Dairyfarmers of Victoria’s South Gippsland Branch, Mr Jelbart was this year presented with an Order of Australia medal for his services to the dairy industry and the community.

A Nuffield Farming Scholar and member of the Nuffield Australia Investment Committee, Mr Jelbart was renowned for seeking out new ways to develop his capacity as a farmer as well as opportunities to give back.

“Max was extremely passionate about helping to foster the next generation in dairy, and ensuring they had the right tools to grow their businesses,” ADF President, David Basham said.

“His readiness to share his expertise with industry and the community alike was inspirational – he was a tireless advocate and will continue to be remembered very fondly.”

On behalf of staff and representative leaders past and present, ADF expressed its deepest sympathies to Mr Jelbart’s family.

Support for all farmers - no exceptions

Jun 03, 2016

Dairy industry leaders are united around a clear objective: to ensure every Australian dairyfarmer has the capability, tools and support to fully understand their individual business position, and to make decisions about their future based on sound evidence.

The release of Dairy Australia’s Situation and Outlook report last week reinforced that there are tough times ahead – but also that with collaboration, empathy and leadership, measured policy responses and effective support from government, consumers and our own supply chain, we can work towards a stronger future.

To prepare for the next season farmers must have earlier and clearer pricing signals, with a more equitable pricing system that better balances risk along the supply chain of farmers, processors and retailers. Without this, farmers and allied businesses will remain vulnerable. ADF and our state members continue to urge processors to urgently communicate their opening price as soon as possible.

Commonwealth and State Government support in Tasmania, Victoria and South Australia has bolstered programs to strengthen pathways for dairyfarmers and enhanced our ability to support the health and wellbeing of our own. We need detail on these announcements as soon as possible and have been pressing governments to release the criteria for the Dairy Recovery Concessional Loans scheme immediately.

As the industry’s peak body, our longer-term resolution includes significant policy ambitions. We need a more equitable pricing system that better balances risk along the supply chain of farmers, processors and retailers.

To help farmers here and now it is crucial that the full suite of support measures be available to farmers across all dairying regions, as processors begin the process of setting milk prices to be paid from July 1. All dairyfarmers, not only Murray Goulburn and Fonterra suppliers, must have access to these measures. ADF has made this clear in our discussions with Government.

We are aware that the current challenges concern sharefarmers and dairy farm employees too. Dairyfarmers who have previously been ineligible for government assistance due to their permanent residency status are also on our radar. Ensuring our industry can retain skilled, experienced employees is key to safeguarding our future – a message we are taking to Canberra, to ensure all aspects of our workforce, and their needs in this unprecedented circumstance are not forgotten.

As the details are made more clear we will contact our members. We encourage you to keep reaching out to ADF, as well as your state dairy farming organisation and regional development programs to access support.

David Basham

ADF President

ADF not affiliated with milk rally protests

May 24, 2016


Although Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) supports any individuals right to peaceful demonstration, ADF is not in any way affiliated with ‘milk rallies’ being held to protest against milk price cuts.

We appreciate that the protestors are passionate about the dairy industry and finding solutions to help the dairy crisis.

However, we do not believe that this action is the best way to support our industry or find solutions to the challenges we face.

The industry has gained good traction so far in highlighting our plight to consumers, government and the wider community. State Governments in Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania have listened to us as industry leaders, and provided policy responses in recent days and weeks. This has included another significant announcement in Victoria today.

We are concerned that rallies will create confusion and detract from the main issue: the financial and emotional wellbeing of our dairy farmers.

ADF continues to be in discussions with both sides of Federal Government on a support package which can be rolled out across the country to affected dairy farmers. Our goal is this: to advocate on behalf of farmers to get immediate support and prevent the issue from occurring in future.

A rally won’t provide this.

A 50c levy would not deliver a solution for our industry on a whole as it would mean farmers in non-exporting markets (such as Northern NSW, Queensland and WA) would be subsidising their south-eastern counterparts.

A levy is not viable or practical solution and further to this we have had indications from both sides of government that they would be unlikely to support it.

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