QDO off to Canberra & QDO Council Report

Eric Danzi, QDO Executive Officer

Eric Danzi, QDO Executive Officer

This QDO council met a few weeks ago to discuss and progress a number of important issues for Queensland dairy farmers. This meeting was used to frame QDO’s position as it heads to Canberra next week to lobby parliamentarians on key issues affecting the Queensland dairy industry. Issues discussed included the federal senate inquiry, the ‘Effects Test’ and the ACCC investigation. Other issues discussed at council included the Fair Milk Logo Bill, the QDO government relations plan,  ticks and membership of Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF).

The national senate inquiry, ACCC review and ‘Effects Test’ were discussed at length by the QDO council. It was noted that the effects test had been recommended by the senate committee and could go into the house at any time during sitting weeks over the coming months. The ACCC is still holding regional meetings across Australia after the first meeting was held in Toowoomba with over 100 Queensland farmers in attendance.

Mike Smith and Stephen Robertson from Ethical Consulting, a specialist government relations company, have prepared a detailed government relations plan for QDO. The plan is very comprehensive and professional, targets both state and federal members and focuses on the key issues facing QDO including the Fair Milk Logo Bill and three federal inquiries/bills already mentioned. The key issues facing QDO will be comprehensively lobbied to key government stakeholders under the plan. Implementing this plan will start in earnest next week when the QDO President, QDO Executive Officer and Stephen Robertson travel to Canberra to meet with over 10 key people from all sides of politics.

As QDO is a member of ADF, Terry Richardson, acting ADF president, attended council to discuss where the organisation was heading under his leadership. Terry spoke of his plan to move ADF forward by working closer with QDO in the future. The QDO council members appreciated Terry attending the meeting and giving councilors an insight the future of ADF and the industry at a national level. It was clear to all QDO councillors that there is great value for QDO working closely with ADF and Terry.

QDO councillor from North Queensland James Geraghty has nominated for the vacancy on the ADF board. All QDO councillors support James and it would be of great value to all dairy farmers in Queensland if James was successful in his quest to be on the ADF board.

QDO President Brian Tessmann briefed the council on recent activities relating to the Fair Milk Logo Bill including the meeting of the agriculture parliamentary committee in February. The bill is likely to be debated in Parliament in the coming months. QDO has been very active in supporting the Fair Milk Logo Bill and expect that all sides of politics will support Queensland dairy farmers by passing this bill.

Malcolm Macleod attended the council meeting and gave a very comprehensive briefing on issues related to the new tick line and management for ticks. It was clear that a lot had changed with regards to tick management and that QDO members would benefit from an update re ticks from QDAF. QDO has obtained a list of accredited certifiers for ticks in Queensland which is available HERE. We have also developed an information paper on the issue of ticks. This will be sent around in next edition of the Weekly Update.

QDO will be inviting QDAF staff with expertise in tick management to attend future QDO member meetings to discuss with members the latest in tick management.