QDO Election notice for Darling Downs, Scenic Rim and Lockyer Valley

Members in Darling Downs, Scenic Rim and Lockyer Valley districts, please return your votes to QDO by 5pm on Friday, 8 December.

Here are profiles of the four candidates for State Council positions in the Darling Downs and Scenic Rim/Lockyer Valley regions:

QDO State Council Candidates for Darling Downs District

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Brendan Hayden - Hi, my wife Corrie and I run a 200 cow dairy operation at Pilton. In 1972, I joined the Royal Australian Navy and subsequently volunteered as a submariner in 1976 until my discharge in 1982 and returned to the family dairy farm at Gowrie Junction, where I joined my father and uncle.  In 1992 we bought our current farm.

I have been heavily involved in the community with such groups as the RSL, Pony Club and school groups as President. More recently, I was a Dairy Farmers Ward rep for the local area until we changed Milk companies. I am currently sitting on the QDO State Council looking for re-election.

I now supply Parmalat producing 1.7 million Lt annually from a mixed herd of Guernseys and Holsteins. This has inspired me to reach for new targets in the dairy industry.

It is my aim to support the up and coming dairy farming generation and part of this is guidance to the young farmers and encouragement to be more involved with the QDO. I feel that the industry will benefit from fresh ideas and new technologies now available to help us with business management in turn encouraging ease of farming.

I want to be part of a ‘shake up’ for new ideas within QDO and our industry, taking it into the next 50 years. If we stay the same direction as we have, will there be an industry in the future? Change is hard, but change is needed.

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John Saville - My name is John Saville I am 56 years old married to Margaret we have three children Matthew 30, Ashleigh 25 and Nicarla 23.

I dairy in partnership with my wife Margaret and son Matthew on our third generation farm at Nobby, milking 70 cows, mainly dryland with limited irrigation and utilising silage for supplementary feeding.

I am currently a sitting state councillor for the Darling Downs District and I am offering myself for re-election. Since being elected to state council in 2006 I believe I have developed a good understanding of industry issues and the need to form strong relationships within the dairy industry, other stakeholders and Government, politicians and departmental staff.

With the continued contraction of the dairy industry in Qld in the future we will need to continue to work with and be able to call on the services of our national body ADF for advocacy and policy issues.  A strong relationship with Dairy Australia and SubTropical Dairy will also be needed to insure we have access and input into relevant and up-to-date research.

I am currently a member of the NLIS advisory Committee, stock and rural crime investigation squad liaison group and the animal bio-security and market access liaison group. Over time I have developed some good relationships with Dept staff and other industry reps on these committees and I feel with the all changes to our responsibilities with the new bio security act, it is important to have a continuing close working relationship with these groups. Other issues which need constant monitoring are water, the right to farm, electricity prices, fair milk contracts and alternative market opportunities just to name a few.

As we move forward with the restructure of the QDO and the changes with staff, I feel that with a mix of new blood we still need some experienced heads around the table to ensure a smooth transition and a continuation of the high standard of advocacy and representation for which the QDO has been known for in the past.

I look forward to your support and assure you I will continue to represent you and at every opportunity and push for a better deal for an industry which works hard to produce a world class product with ever increasing hurdles and not enough reward.

QDO State Council Candidates for Scenic Rim-Lockyer Valley District

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Gary Wenzel - My name is Gary Wenzel, and I’m 54 years old married with 4 grown up sons. My wife and I operate a dairy at Roadvale near Boonah. We milk between 120 and 150 cows producing 1,100,000 litres a year supplying Norco Co-operative for many years.

Our dairy operation consists of TMR feeding through winter and PMR feeding in summer. As we have no irrigation, we only grow a summer crop for grazing or silage and buy in corn and barley silage as needed. For many years I worked off-farm at Mutdapilly Research Station in the dairy, working a split shift which allowed me to be home during the day while my wife milked at home with help from the boys. While working off-farm, I gained a lot of experience working with a wide range of people from research scientists, technical staff, vets, uni students and other staff.

Currently I am a Director of United Milk Producers Co-operative Association, President of the Moreton Sub Branch H.F.F.A, and Vice President of the Roadvale Water Board.

While I have no previous experience in dairy politics, I have always been interested in the Queensland dairy industry and it concerns me the numbers of Dairyfarmers who are no longer members of the QDO, approximately 35%, which makes me wonder what the QDO needs to do to gain more.

If elected I will do my best to convey farmers views back to the QDO. Thank you for considering me as a candidate. If you wish to contact me, my mobile is 0427 779 726.

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Ross McInnes - Ross lives at Harrisville in South East Queensland and is in a family partnership with brothers Duncan and Morris milking 500 cows in a partial mixed ration farm system. He has 3 children ranging from 31 to 24 years old.

He has been involved in various community organisations including Rural Youth, President of Fassifern Rugby League, President and coach for 10 years with Fassifern Junior Rugby League, Charter member and 2-time President of the Rotary Club of Fassifern Valley and was chair of the Harrisville 150 year Anniversary in 2013.

He has been on State Council of QDO since 2003, replacing former long term President Pat Rowley.  In 2006 he was elected to the executive, and became Vice President in 2009, a position he still holds. He has been the QDO rep on the QFF Water Policy Committee since 2003 and is the current chair of that committee which now includes Energy.

In 2004 he was appointed as QDO rep on the Subtropical Dairy Programme Board and held that position til 2009 when the board was restructured as a skills-based board. Ross was appointed chair of SDP in 2009 and held that position until 2016. Ross was involved in the planning for the relocation of the Mutdapilly Research Station to UQ Gatton and currently sits on the Management Committee for the UQ dairy operation.

He has also sat on the NRM and Farming systems Policy Advisory Groups (PAGS) for the Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF).