The ACCC will establish a Dairy Consultative Committee to support The Nationals’ ongoing commitment to the Australian dairy industry.
Deputy Nationals Leader and Agriculture Minister Senator Bridget McKenzie said the committee would be led by an independent chairperson with a strong knowledge of the dairy industry.
“The establishment of the dairy consultative committee is part of an $8.1 million injection into the ACCC Agriculture Unit to continue its valuable work for the dairy and agriculture sector,” Senator McKenzie said. “We are committed to supporting a fairer and sustainable Australian dairy industry and the great people who work within it.”
“Our dairy farmers are doing it tough. They are honest, hardworking people who deserve a fair go.”
The committee and its chair will ensure there is a strong voice for the dairy industry during the implementation of the mandatory code of conduct and once it is in operation. This will inform the ACCC’s enforcement of the mandatory code of conduct and other activities to bring about industry compliance and awareness.
Work is continuing on drafting regulations for the mandatory code of conduct, in the form of an exposure draft. Following this, a third round of consultation with industry will begin to gather feedback on the exposure draft and provide the ACCC with up to date and relevant advice.
The ACCC will seek nominations from a range of backgrounds and industries within the sector including peak bodies, industry associations, and industry advisors to form the committee.
This announcement fulfils an election commitment made by The Nationals in Government.
The ACCC has also established a Dairy Specialist role in its Agriculture Unit to provide additional expertise and to raise industry awareness about the mandatory code of conduct.
“The Nationals in Government are a strong backer of our dairy industry and will further strengthen the ACCC’s focus on the sector through the committee and the existing experience of the ACCC Deputy Chair Mick Keogh and the ACCC Dairy Specialist role,” Senator McKenzie said. “Aussie dairy farmers deserve a fair price. The Nationals in Government support farming businesses and we want to ensure farmers are getting on with their jobs in a fair environment. This is a great industry with great people and a positive future ahead.”