The Nationals in Government will create a dedicated ACCC ‘Dairy Specialist’ and provide relief for energy costs for dairy farmers as part of a $22 million package to help improve returns and empower dairy farmers in their commercial dealings if re-elected.
This is great news for dairy farmers right across NSW, and The Nationals are taking the concerns and challenges facing dairy farmers seriously.
We are taking the necessary steps to protect dairy farmers who have been hit by low prices, an unfair market, and high energy costs and to protect the future of Australian dairy industry.
We’ve seen too many people leaving the industry as a result of difficult market circumstances so this is great news for not only our dairy farmers and their families but for our rural towns and communities who rely on the industry.
If re-elected, the Nationals in Government will continue to back dairy farmers with:
- $10 million from the Energy Efficient Communities Grants Program to support dairy farmers reduce energy costs through more energy efficient equipment;
- The establishment of a ‘Dairy Specialist’ position in the ACCC Agricultural Unit – established by the Nationals in Government in 2015 – to give the dairy sector a dedicated voice to ensure enforcement and compliance with the Mandatory Code of Conduct and facilitate referrals and resolutions of complaints under the Code to ensure they are addressed in a timely and satisfactory manner;
- An additional $8.1 million injection into the ACCC Agricultural Unit, over and above our 2020 Budget commitment to ensure it is well resourced to continue its work on fair-trading and competition for the dairy and agriculture sector;
- $500,000 to Dairy Australia to extend their financial and legal advice service to more farmers, and to improve legal and financial literacy and capability for contract negotiations with processors;
- $150,000 to Australian Dairy Farmers to develop with processors a simple standard form contract that incorporates the requirements of the Dairy Mandatory Code of Conduct;
- $300,000 to Australian Dairy Farmers to develop a real time dairy payment system and supply chain information sharing capacity using blockchain technology; and
- $3 million for a Starting Farms Cooperative Program to provide grants to assist farmers groups establish farm cooperatives and other collaborative business models.
These measures build on the important work the Nationals in Government have already undertaken to support our dairy industry.
We introduced the Dairy Mandatory Code of Conduct, committed $560,000 to delivering new marketing and trading platforms to give farmers more say over how and when they sell their milk, and provided access to dairy concessional loans and the Farm Household Allowance.
Only through our strong economic management and genuine commitment to agriculture can we continue to provide this support and stand by our farmers and their communities in difficult times.
This funding is only possible because of the Government’s strong economic management of the Budget and the economy.