Standing for change in Australian dairy

Standing for change in Australian dairy

Opinion
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Dairy farmers are encouraged to become members of both ADF and DA.

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While the Australian dairy industry waits for decisions to be made around the Dairy Plan, the regular show must go on and our two national organisations, ADF and DA must continue to operate under their constitutional guidelines. This means that significant executive board elections for both organisations must be held later this year and all dairy farmers must get actively involved.

I would encourage all dairy farmers to become members of both organisations (membership is not automatic for either), particularly given the important changes being planned that will significantly affect the future of the dairy industry.

As the newest QDO board member, I am the least seasoned by the political intrigues of our industry and I find the actions of some of the more self-interested parties hard to accept. But I do know that if I don't like what's going on in the industry, I need to exercise my democratic vote to make change happen.

QDO president Brian Tessmann has applied as a candidate for the Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) director position that will be contested at the 2020 ADF Annual General Meeting scheduled for Thursday, November 26.

Two director positions are being contested at this election. John Versteden is up for re-election and Bruce Donnison will not recontest at the AGM.

Most importantly for this current election, ADF is the lead organisation for the national Dairy Plan and as such, its board members have significant influence on the future of the Australian dairy industry, so these appointments are especially important.

While Brian is already involved as a member of the ADF National Council and is on several of ADF's Policy Advisory Groups which report back to the board, these roles do not allow Brian to have an active decision-making role in the strategic direction of ADF or the Dairy Plan.

Only ADF board directors can determine the direction of ADF and they have a pivotal role in key decisions around the Dairy Plan. It is these directors who need to drive the structural changes that grassroots dairy farmers have been demanding.

Having now worked alongside Brian on the QDO State Council for the past year, I have come to know Brian's professional history and where he stands on national policies. I am confident that he can provide dairy farmers from the northern regions of Australia with a significant and strong voice that will make change happen.

Come November, I will be putting my vote with Brian and encourage any dairy farmer who is a member of their state advocacy body to do likewise.

New membership applications for ADF must be received no later than Friday October 9.

If you would like assistance in completing your application or have any questions regarding the application, contact Kerrie at QDO on 3236 2955.

The story Standing for change in Australian dairy first appeared on North Queensland Register.

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