MEDIA RELEASE - NSW Labor Commits to an Independent NSW Dairy and Fresh Food Commissioner
JODI MCKAY MP
NSW LABOR LEADER
NSW LABOR CANDIDATE FOR THE UPPER HUNTER
JENNY AITCHISON MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR PRIMARY INDUSTRIES
NSW Labor will establish a full-time Dairy and Fresh Food Commissioner to provide a strong, independent voice for the industry. The NSW Labor Leader, Jodi McKay and Labor’s candidate for the Upper Hunter, Jeff Drayton made the announcement on a visit to a dairy farm in Barrington today. They were joined by the Shadow Minister for Primary Industries, Jenny Aitchison, Dairy Connect’s President, Graham Forbes and CEO Shaughn Morgan and local dairy farmers. Mr Drayton said Upper Hunter dairy farmers have been left to fend for themselves after the worst drought in the State’s history. “The Upper Hunter pumps billions into the NSW economy and all our dairy farmers have gotten in return is a part-time bureaucrat. The National Party promised to appoint a full-time, independent NSW Dairy and Fresh Food Commissioner but that’s not what they delivered”, Mr Drayton said. “The dairy industry is reeling from the impact of a devastating drought and unprecedented fires. In their time of greatest need, The National Party have deserted farmers. “I’m pleased NSW Labor has committed to delivering a true advocate for the dairy industry. Industry and farmers should not have to fend for themselves. They need urgent guidance and support. They’re being short-changed by the Nationals’ watered down, part-time NSW Fresh Milk and dairy Advocate.”
Ms McKay said: “I grew up here in Gloucester and my dad worked in the dairy industry. I know the people and I know the area.” “Labor’s NSW Dairy and Fresh Food Commissioner will become a full-time statutory appointment with legislated powers, independent of Government. That means they’ll advocate for dairy farmers. They’ll be frank and fearless in their recommendations to Government.
“This is what the dairy industry has been crying out for and that’s what we will deliver.” Ms Aitchison added: “Our dairy farmers deserve better than a part-time dairy advocate. They need a Commissioner with the statutory powers to assist the industry and make a real difference, independent of Government.” In the first year, the Commissioner will develop:
• An effective mediation and arbitration process for NSW farmers, in consultation with local industry and the ACCC (in conjunction with the mandatory code for dairy);
• A truth in labelling policy for fresh food and dairy; and
• A model for a national standard to deliver consistency in testing, sampling and the calibration of equipment used in fresh milk production to ensure a fair farm price.
The Commissioner will work with dairy farmers to review:
• Best practice business models
• Contracts and plans for long-term sustainability; and
• Competition and succession planning.
They will also investigate ways to provide better access to the Farm Innovation Fund and develop a long-term research and development strategy for the industry.
WEDNESDAY, 28 APRIL 2021
MEDIA CONTACT: 0402 206 232 (DRAYTON) | 0418 456 405 (AITCHISON)