I am delighted to inform members that I was successful in my bid to become a director for ADF for a three-year term at the AGM held via video conferencing on Thursday.
I would like to take the opportunity first and foremost to thank the QDO members who answered the call to become members of ADF this year and those who made the effort to either attend the AGM via video or nominated a proxy.
Technology was not kind to the organisers and there were a few glitches in the instructions the technology had to ensure everyone entitled to vote, including me, could vote. I’d like to thank the ADF president and secretary for keeping calm and cool heads while the issues were resolved.
It certainly made for a rollercoaster ride for the candidates.
My new appointment gives Queensland’s dairy farmers a front-row seat at the decision-making table. This position allows me to bring to attention the issues that are so important to farmers here in our fresh milk dominated sub-tropical region.
It can’t be denied that there has always been a significant Victoria-centric bias in the Australian dairy industry. That is to be expected since Victoria represents almost 70 per cent of all dairy farms in the country.
Therefore QDO and representation of Australia’s northern dairying regions is so important in national advocacy. Yes, we are the noisy minority; we represent only 16pc of the total milk pool when both Queensland and NSW volumes are combined. But when you look at the populations of the two states, the region is significant, not only because of the farmers it represents, but because it is home to over 52pc of the nation’s consumers.
There are many people already asking how my new ADF position affects my current position at QDO. To nip the rumour mill in the bud, I will continue to lead QDO as president and I intend to see through the merger between Queensland and NSW dairy bodies which is so very important to ensure ongoing strong representation for Australian northern dairying region.
Once the new organisation is set up and new elections held for office bearers, I intend to step away and focus on using my directorship at ADF to fight for our farmers’ interests.
I’d like to thank my fellow candidates in the election including fellow Queenslander and QDO member Ross McInnes as well as John Versteden and Glenn Britnell.
Unfortunately, the decision on the second director position on board was not resolved, as each remaining candidate received more against votes than for.
The ADF National Council will now meet to determine whether to initiate the process to appoint a director for one year to fill the casual vacancy (until the next AGM) or examine what other options are possible.
I look forward to being able to use my new position to ensure a fairer deal for our farmers.