Wage changes for the dairy industry

The Fair Work Commission on 6 June 2017 handed down its Decision in the Annual Wage Review which made changes to wages in the dairy industry.  If any QDO member wants help with industrial relations matters please contact QDO by calling 3236 2955 and we will get you in contact with our specialist in this area from PEQ.

The changes will take effect from the beginning of the first full pay period commencing on orafter 1 July 2017.

See below a table detailing the new wage changes for the dairy industry.

Capture.JPG

Accommodation charge: An amount agrees to in writing between the Employer and Employee.

Keep deduction: $125.13 per week where provided with accommodation and ALL meals.

Leading hand allowance                         $ Per Week
In charge of: 2-6 employees                    21.63
7-10 employees                                        25.21
11-20 employees                                      35.93
21+ employees                                         45.14

Superannuation: 9.5%

'Effects test' finally passed into law

download (1).png

After years of lobbying by the dairy industry and QDO, parliament has passed fairer competition laws for small business. QDO hopes this will lead to the end of $1 per litre milk discounting in supermarkets. Media release by the Minister for Small Business below:

Fairer competition laws for small business passed the Parliament last night, levelling the playing field so small businesses can compete, Small Business Minister Michael McCormack says. “The passage of section 46 is another Bill which backs small business and delivers on the Liberals and Nationals’ election promise,” Mr McCormack said.

“Protecting small business from anti-competitive conduct was a key recommendation of the Harper Review. The new section 46, delivered by the Government, empowers the consumer watchdog to look at the actual or likely impact of conduct on a market. It also further strengthens laws to prevent firms with substantial market power engaging in conduct which harms competition in Australian markets.”

Mr McCormack said a fairer playing field is a big issue raised by small businesspeople. “From farmers to small supermarkets, from consumers to suppliers, many Australians tell me how these changes will stop firms with substantial market power from engaging in conduct which reduces competition,” Mr McCormack said. “This is good news for small businesses which want to compete and good news for consumers who want competition in the market.”

Mr McCormack said while the Liberals, Nationals and crossbench worked together to back small business, Labor voted against a fairer deal for small business. “I invited Labor to work with the Government in backing small business, to level the playing field, so more can compete,” Mr McCormack said. “Instead, Labor continued with its feigned support seeking nothing more than a headline, showing yet again its complete lack of understanding and care for small business.”

The House of Representatives passed the amendment to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 late last night after discussion in the Senate. “The Liberals and Nationals will always have the back of small business to grow local economies and create local jobs. Labor should stop playing politics and get on board to support small business,” Mr McCormack said.

Media release available: http://mfm.ministers.treasury.gov.au/media-release/109-2017/

 

Senate releases final report into the dairy industry

Media release by Australian Dairy Farmers:

ADF Logo - Medium.jpg

Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) acknowledges the release of the Economic References Committees report (Australia’s dairy industry: rebuilding trust and a fair market for farmers) yesterday into the dairy industry as a positive move towards strengthening the entire dairy value chain.

ADF President, Terry Richardson said he recognised the interest of the Senate and their support as an acknowledgement of Parliaments willingness to work on long-term solutions on behalf of dairy farmers.  “We are pleased to see support for the Code of Practice and the work we have been doing with the Australian Dairy Products Foundation (ADPF), our state dairy farming members and key industry bodies to establish a fair, long-term solution to improve profitability of Australian dairy farmers”, Mr Richardson said.  “The recommendations of the report will help improve farmers negotiating powers, and will contribute further to ensuring there is fairness and transparency throughout the supply chain. We have been working with industry partners on establishing solutions to a number of issues within the dairy industry for a long time and are pleased we are finally getting the tools needed to increase transparency and fairness. The Effects Test, Unfair Contracts Legislation and Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, are among the tools we have been advocating for since 2011.”

ADF notes the Committees recommendation to cease development of the Commodity Milk Price Index, while the Coalition Senators support in the development of the index.

“The Index is not a magic bullet, but if done right will importantly provide independent and transparent market information to dairy farmers that is easily accessible and useful in making decisions about their businesses. In isolation, tools such as Code of Practice, the Effects Test and the Commodity Milk Price Index will not fix the problems with the dairy industry. However, when combined and used alongside other reforms such as the Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman will ensure fairness along the supply chain. We will continue to advocate for improved transparency regarding the impact of retailer actions on suppliers, and for the regulating bodies to have the power to prevent potentially damaging situations such as retailer predatory pricing in future,” Mr Richardson said.

Mr Richardson also noted the committee’s recommendation for the Government to hold an independent review of the Dairy Services Levy and Dairy Australia.  “While we recognize the need to continuously assess organisational practices, we can confirm that Dairy Australia has recently undertaken a review and put in place mechanisms to ensure dairy farmers are receiving the best value for money from their levy. There is absolutely no doubt that the research and development levy has delivered enormous benefits to all dairy farmers over the past 35 years and Dairy Australia are focused on delivering long-term research, development and extension strategies for the dairy industry.”

ADF acknowledges the ACCC inquiry into the dairy industry and are awaiting the outcomes and measures that can be taken from the inquiry to further reduce the power imbalances between retailers, processors and farmers and help reduce the transfer of risk onto farmers.

As an industry, we want to recognise the efforts of Australian Parliament for their support and willingness to listen to the dairy industry to get the effective solutions in place.

View the full Senate Economics References Committee Report: http://bit.ly/2uNkofY

Parmalat plans to continue using FNQ dairy supply

QDO state councillor James Geraghty

QDO state councillor James Geraghty

Parmalat has confirmed that it will continue to buy more than eight million litres of milk a year from Malanda processor Lion Dairy to support local farmers.

The Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service (CHHHS) awarded the milk tender to service all of its health facilities – believed to be worth about $300,000 – to the southern-based Parmalat Australia.

Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation state councillor James Geraghty said it was good Parmalat had expressing intent to continue to support the local industry.

“We’re not asking for a free kick or anything like that,” he said. “We just need to make sure this deal comes out with local suppliers and conforms with the State Government’s mantra of ‘buy local’ and cut down on food miles and ­reduce the carbon footprint.”

QDO welcome funding to develop own ‘Fair Milk Logo’

The Queensland dairy industry has been given the opportunity to develop its own voluntary ‘Fair Milk Logo’ with close to a million in funding allocated by the State Government.

The announcement made by Agriculture Minister Bill Byrne came after the initial ‘Fair Milk Logo’ Bill moved by the Katter Australia Party (KAP) failed to pass through parliament.

Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation (QDO) President Brian Tessmann welcomed the $960,000 in funding that will be used for marketing strategies to help consumers make better-informed decisions when they buy milk.

“While QDO would have preferred the original Bill moved by the KAP to pass through parliament into legislation, this support from the government will go a long way in helping industry develop its own logo,” he said.

“The voluntary ‘Fair Milk Logo’ that will be developed by QDO will be used to help consumers play their part in helping Queensland farmers as they continue to struggle under the impacts of unsustainable $1 litre milk.”

“People have consistently asked what milk they should buy to support our local dairy farmers. While QDO encourages them to buy branded milk, the ‘Fair Milk Logo’ will be a clear indicator right on the bottle.”

“The ‘I Buy Branded Milk’ campaign run by QDO was a success and shows consumers are willing to support Queensland dairy farmers and this funding allows industry to deliver this public change.”

“The real challenge starts now for QDO to work constructively with our farmer members and the processors to make this ‘Fair Milk Logo’ a reality.

“QDO thanks the government for giving our industry the opportunity to make a difference.”

Develop your farm biosecurity plan and get a free BJD test

QDO BJD.png

QDO is running biosecurity workshops in Gympie, Kingaroy, Toowoomba and Warwick on 8/9 August.

Develop your farm biosecurity plan and get a free Bovine Johnes Disease (BJD) test

QDO encourage you to join members at the upcoming farm biosecurity workshops that will provide you with a signed farm biosecurity plan and enabling you to get a free Johnes disease slurry test.

If you are a dairy farm around Gympie, Kingarory, Toowoomba or Warwick please RSVP to Kerrie and attend the free biosecurity workshops next week. So far 75 people have RSVP which is great but there are still some spare places especially in Warwick, Gympie and Kingaroy.

If you are attending the workshops and have a laptop please bring it to the workshop. If you do not have a laptop do not worry.

If you are not in the 4 areas listed above please do not worry. QDO will be running workshops in Beaudesert, Gatton, Maleny, central Queensland and Malanda by the end of September 2017. Locations and dates of these workshops have yet to be finalised with notification being delivered through the QDO Weekly Update in mid-August.

These workshops are delivered by QDO and are for QDO members.

·         Gympie - 8 August 10am-1pm, QDAF Gympie, 1 Cartwright Rd,

·         Kingaroy - 8 August 6.30-9pm, Town Common Hall, Oliver Bond Street Kingaroy

·         Toowoomba- 9 August 10am-1pm, QDAF Toowoomba, 203 Tor St, Toowoomba.

·         Warwick - 9 August 6.30-9pm, Hermitage Research Station, 604 Yangan Road, Warwick

NOTE: Additional biosecurity workshops in September for Beaudesert, Gatton, Maleny, Central Qld & Malanda

RSVP: Kerrie ea@dairypage.com.au OR 3236 2955

QDO encourage all members to attend one of the workshops to ensure you have an accredited biosecurity plan for your farm. You will also have the opportunity to sign up for FREE BJD slurry tests.

September biosecurity workshops in Beaudesert, Gatton, Maleny, Central QLD and Malanda

Victoria-Australia-Scenery-Cattle-Landscape-63729.jpg

QDO is running biosecurity workshops in Gympie, Kingaroy, Toowoomba and Warwick on 8-9 August.

Additional biosecurity workshops are planned for Beaudesert, Gatton, Maleny, central Queensland and Malanda by the end of September 2017. Locations and dates of these workshops have yet to be finalised with notification being delivered through the QDO Weekly Update.

QDO encourage all members to attend one of the workshops to ensure you have an accredited biosecurity plan for your farm. You will also have the opportunity to sign up for FREE BJD slurry tests.

QDO to deliver free farm biosecurity workshops

The Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation (QDO) is pleased to announce that it will deliver a series of farm biosecurity workshops for member throughout the state’s dairy regions.

The workshops are being delivered in partnership with the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QDAF) and focus on recent biosecurity regulation changes with specific emphasis on managing and limiting the spread of both cattle ticks and Bovine Johnes Disease (BJD). 

QDO President Brian Tessmann said that is was essential that both industry and government work collectively and constructively on issues of importance such as biosecurity. 

“I encourage all QDO members to come along to these workshops as they will offer practical and necessary assistance and advice on how to better prepare and manage on-farm biosecurity.”

“The new Queensland biosecurity framework has a renewed emphasis on shared responsibility between industry and government, these workshops are an opportunity for farmers to embrace this new model.”

“Both BJD and cattle ticks are major biosecurity concerns for Queensland dairy farmers. The recent changes to Queensland’s BJD regulation as well as the tick line mean these threats are front and centre far dairy farmers.”

“I thank the State Government for partnering with QDO to deliver these workshops that will assist our industry to maintain and improve our already high biosecurity standards.”

“Queensland dairy farmers have always been committed to keeping their farm businesses free from pests and diseases, these workshops assist us in continuing to do just that,” said Mr. Tessmann.

QDAF staff Lawrence Gavey (BJD expert) and Malcolm Macleod (cattle tick expert) will be facilitating relevant sessions at the workshops and will provide disease management options and advice for farmers.

These workshops are delivered by QDO and are for QDO members.

What to bring: Those attending biosecurity workshops should bring their laptop if they have one.

NOTE: Additional biosecurity workshops in September for Beaudesert, Gatton, Woodford, Central Qld & Malanda

Additional biosecurity workshops are planned for Beaudesert, Gatton, Woodford, central Queensland and Malanda by the end of September 2017. Locations and dates of these workshops have yet to be finalised with notification being delivered through the QDO Weekly Update.

QDO encourage all members to attend one of the workshops to ensure you have an accredited biosecurity plan for your farm. You will also have the opportunity to sign up for FREE BJD slurry tests.

Free farm biosecurity workshops for QDO members

By QDO Executive Officer, Eric Danzi

It is with great pleasure that I announce the first series of biosecurity planning workshops will be held on 8 and 9 August in:

I will run the workshops alongside QDAF staff members Lawrence Gavey (Johnes disease expert) and Malcolm Macleod (ticks expert).  QDO is very fortunate to be delivering the workshops in partnership with QDAF, and would like to thank Lawrence and Malcolm specifically for their help.

During the workshops, farmers will develop a biosecurity plan tailored to their farm and specific circumstances. These plans will then be signed off and farmers will have a procedure to deliver animals to the meat works from 1 October 2017 and to maintain their johnes disease free status. Most importantly, the workshops will provide direction to each farmer on the main activities they need to undertake to manage biosecurity risks on their farm.

After the workshop, farmers will be given the option of having a free Johnes slurry test undertaken on their farm if they wish. QDAF staff will collect the samples and undertake the tests at a suitable time with each farmer. More biosecurity planning workshops will be held in other locations throughout the state before October 2017 so please look out for further information.

The workshops are for QDO members only so please do not miss this opportunity. Free meals will be provided at all workshops.  RSVP to Kerrie at QDO by emailing ea@dairypage.com.au or calling 3236 2955.

Space is limited so please get in quick! I look forward to seeing you there.

NOTE: Additional biosecurity workshops in September for Beaudesert, Gatton, Woodford, Central Qld & Malanda

Additional biosecurity workshops are planned for Beaudesert, Gatton, Woodford, central Queensland and Malanda by the end of September 2017. Locations and dates of these workshops have yet to be finalised with notification being delivered through the QDO Weekly Update.

QDO encourage all members to attend one of the workshops to ensure you have an accredited biosecurity plan for your farm. You will alos have the opportunity to sign up for FREE BJD slurry tests.

Thanks,
Eric Danzi

New QDO constitution to be tabled at AGM

By Eric Danzi, QDO Executive Officer

As has been flagged with members on numerous occasions, Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation (QDO) has reviewed its organisational structure. QDO has recommended to members that the number of State Council be reduced from 8 to 5 as well as shortening Councillor’s existing term length so the new term can commence on 1 January 2018. As a result the QDO elections will start in September 2017 after the new constitution is passed by members at the AGM. These changes have received overwhelming support by members.

As a result of these proposed changes, QDO has review and submitted amendments to its constitution which dates back to 2003. QDO has sought the advice of a governance and constitution expert to ensure that the proposed constitution reflects current governance standards. In addition to the changes mentioned above, several obsolete items have been removed from the constitution including QDO branches which have not operated in most districts for over a decade and the objects of the company have been updated. Several items have been added to reflect current governance standards which include the setting of director fees, dispute resolution and limiting liability of members to $1.

I encourage all members to attend the AGM on 29 August at the Toowoomba City Golf Club to get a better understanding of all the changes in the new constitution and have your say. I look forward to seeing you there.