Like the Dairy Australia elections (scheduled for November 28), nominations are also open for two board positions for the Australian Dairy Farmers, with the approved list of nominees due out later this week.
While QDO is focused on the needs and issues of our members in Queensland, there are key issues at a national level where our members need to have good representatives who share the same views and visions for Queensland’s dairy industry.
To carry the needs of Queensland farmers to a level of implementation and change, QDO must have a seat on the ADF board. While there are two seats available on the board, there is little chance that both seats would be given to a Queensland candidate, so we need to use our votes with caution.
So what are the key issues for Queensland dairy farmers, and most likely many other dairy farmers in Australia? A critical issue is the strong desire by farmers throughout Australia for the industry to undertake transformational change in structures. The industry is at crisis point in Queensland and without strong leadership and transformational change our industry has a bleak future. Tinkering at the edges is not an option any more.
Another key issue is ensuring that regional priorities for dairy farmers are met. For too long regional priorities have been ignored especially for the more isolated parts of the Australian dairy industry including Queensland. It is time that the priorities for all dairy farmers are addressed in a fair way rather than many farmers being largely ignored like they are now.
The third big issue is the need for accountability to dairy farmers of all dairy farmer-funded bodies. The dairy farmers are the shareholders of these bodies and have a democratic right to decide their future and decide who is best able to deliver for them. All farmer-funded bodies must be properly accountable back to farmers, unlike the current system.
As we did when the Dairy Australia nominees were announced, QDO will ask the ADF board nominees key questions as they relate to and are important to Queensland dairy farmers. I hope all candidates take the questions in good faith and in the interests of all dairy farmers and I look forward to comparing them all. In addition, we plan to publicise profiles and the selection panel’s assessments of all candidates so that all voters are able to compare the candidates.