WESTERN Australian dairy farmers are not represented on a joint transition team (JTT) announced on Tuesday to advise on options for industry reform under a proposed national dairy plan.
South Australian dairy farmers are also not represented on the JTT, which comprises eight members from six of Australia’s eight recognised dairying regions.
In line with its position as the main dairy production State with three distinct dairying regions, Victoria has three representatives on the JTT and shares a fourth with Tasmania which also has its own dedicated representative.
New South Wales has two representatives and Queensland one.
According to previous joint statements, the JTT will recommend to the Australian Dairy Plan Committee (ADPC) «options for transformational change» of «industry structures» and «advocacy arrangements» to be included in the proposed dairy plan.
The ADPC comprises the chairpersons of the four partner organisations proposing the plan – Dairy Australia, Australian Dairy Farmers, Australian Dairy Products Federation and Victoria’s Gardiner Dairy Foundation – with former Victorian premier John Brumby as independent chairman.
It is expecting to publish its report and industry plan before the end of the year.
WAFarmers dairy section president Michael Partridge said he believed two WA dairy farmers had nominated to be members of the JTT.
«I know one of them and they would have been a very good representative for WA,» Mr Partridge said.
When it called for JTT nominations last month the ADPC said applicants «should be able to demonstrate experience in leadership, business, strategic transformation and the dairy supply chain».
Membership of the JTT, which has five men and three women members, will «reflect diversity in gender and experience», it said previously.
While admitting to being privately disappointed one of the two WA nominations had not been included on the JTT, Mr Partridge said he had read the email naming the JTT members, noted there was no Western Australian and «moved on».
«WA dairy farmers will still have their views made known (to the ADPC) through WAFarmers and Dairy Australia,» Mr Partridge said.
At the end of May, WA dairy farmers, milk processors and dairy product manufacturers and supermarket chains and other milk retailing representatives had a chance to put their views on a national dairy plan to a consultation workshop in Bunbury.
More than 1000 farmers, service providers, processors, retailers, investors and other key dairy industry stakeholders, participated in similar consultation workshops across dairying regions or had their say via one-on-one interviews and an online forum.
Key findings were discussed at a two-day national workshop in Melbourne at the end of July attended by 140 representatives from across the industry.
«The number one issue during dairy plan consultation meetings was reform of current industry structure and advocacy arrangements,» said Mr Brumby on Tuesday when the JTT members were named.
«In response we’ve established a dedicated taskforce to recommend options for transformational change,» he said.
«We opened up the application process for membership of this taskforce, to ensure that anyone with relevant experience had the opportunity to be considered.
«We received more than 30 applications, all of an extremely high standard.
«From these applications, we’ve appointed a strong team which can bring an enormous amount to this process along with an independent view.
«Ensuring that dairy has the most effective, agile and well-resourced structure is an absolutely crucial element for us to get right.
«We can learn from other industries which have successfully reformed their organisational structures.
«We all agree on the potential for dairy to speak more clearly with a strong and unified voice, to direct combined resources to industry priorities, to be more nimble in addressing challenges, to be more streamlined and remove duplication,» Mr Brumby said.
Members of the JTT named on Tuesday are Shirley Harlock (Victoria), Bruce Donnison (Victoria/Tasmania), Adam Jenkins (Victoria), Lauren Finger (Victoria), Wes Judd (Queensland), Michele Lawrence (Tasmania), Greg McNamara (NSW) and Malcolm Holm (NSW).