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  • ■ Continued page 4


    ‘Effects test’ win for dairy

    QUEENSLAND Dairyfarm- ers Organisation (QDO), along with Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF), has applauded the in-

    troduction of an ‘effects test’ by the Federal Government, which will strengthen competi- tion across the grocery supply chain.

    QDO and ADF have advo- cated strongly for the change since 2011, after Coles started the supermarket milk price war, which has seen many farmers forced out of that industry.

    The provision, which will be included in section 46 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, will address the current

    unequal distribution of market power and encourage transpar- ency to the benefi t of produc- ers, consumers and retailers.

    The commitment by the Federal Government came only two weeks after QDO and ADF, along with the Al- liance of Industry Associa- tions for Change to S46, vis- ited Canberra to meet with the Treasurer, Scott Morrison, the

    The Northern

    INSIDE ■ A closer look at transition cows

    PAGE 6

    ■ Young farmers tour WA

    PAGE 8

    ■ Dairy not just a man’s world

    PAGE 11

    ■ Resource effi ciency in focus

    PAGE 14

    ■ Soil and nutrient planning

    PAGE 16

    ■ Tick line proposals cause concern

    PAGE 20

    APRIL/MAY 2016

    KEY POINTS ■ Federal

    Government introduces ‘effects test’ to competition laws

    ■ Will help curb supermarket power

    ■ QDO led lobbying efforts

    Representatives of farming and business groups recently met in Canberra with Federal Government representatives and ministers, including Minister for Small Business, Kelly O’Dwyer (front row second from left), and the Treasurer, Scott Morrison (front row third from left), to discuss proposed changes to the effects test. Dairy industry representatives included Australian Dairy Farmers chief executive Ben Stapley (front fow third from right), ADF senior policy manager David Losberg (front row second from right), Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation chief executive Adrian Peake (front row at right) and National Farmers Federation chief executive Tony Maher (standing fi fth from right).

    1 COMPANY, MULTIPLE BRANDS, 120 AUTHORIZED DEALERS... ALL YOU NEED FOR EFFLUENT MANAGEMENT The best fertilizer on the market has to be the 1 your cows are already producing.

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  • The current policies and actions by the Queensland Government around both animal biosecurity and vegetation management is clearly giving no consideration to the impacts on dairyfarmers or the scientifi c facts and market considerations of the issues. The pro- posed new tree clearing laws are claimed by the Minister, Stephen Miles, to be in response to rampant unsustainable clearing destroying the environment.

    In fact, the recently published tree cover data shows cover in Queensland has increased by about twice the size of the Australian Capi- tal Territory and cover in the six critical reef catchments had increased from 74 per cent to 76 per cent.

    As you would expect in the severely drought western areas there were small drought in- duced reductions. This selective use of data is deliberately misleading at best.

    Even more disappointing is the continua- tion of Animal Health Australia (AHA) and the department’s determination to strip away the current protections from Bovine Johnes Disease (BJD), which on its current path will mean each individual farmers will have total responsibility in seeing BJD is not brought onto their farm.

    As we found in the Queensland Dairyfarm- ers’ Organisation (QDO) survey on the issue, 96 per cent of dairyfarmers want current pro- tections to continue.

    This has been ignored by the department and the Minister and at the time of writing

    the Minister was still avoiding meeting with QDO.

    On a much brighter note the Federal Gov- ernment has passed the reintroduction of an ‘effects test’ into section 46 of the Competi- tion and Consumer Act.

    This has followed years of work by QDO and Australian Dairy Farmers highlighting the excessive market power held by large companies, especially supermarkets, and the impacts that issues such as $1 milk was hav- ing both on farm businesses and Australia’s ability to increase the nation’s milk produc- tion to meet world demand.

    This change came only weeks after QDO and ADF took part in a combined industry alliance meeting with Scott Morrison, Kelly O’Dwyer and Barnaby Joyce and was a great example of what can be achieved when we work together.

    It was great to catch up with many of you at our recent round of dinners. These dinners are key to Subtropical Dairy’s communica- tion network and provide an excellent op- portunity for us to meet with many farm- ers and to fl ag upcoming programs. Special thanks to our sponsors and speakers who supported these nights.

    Subtropical Dairy is currently in the process of delivering two Dairy Australia activities covering Transition Cow manage- ment. One is designed for discussion groups while the other will be a full-day workshop. Not all regions will receive both of these activities, so please check with your local Dairy Australia extension co-ordinator.

    Subtropical Dairy’s regional groups have been an integral part of our organisation for the past 20 years. Each regional group has an annual budget of $5000 to put to- wards local projects specifi c to each region. Some of these have gone on to be national projects. If you are interested in joining one of these groups, then please contact our ex- ecutive offi cer Brad Granzin on 0431 197 479 for more details.

    In the next few months, we have work- shops planned in entry-level computer training (Far North Queensland, Central Queensland, Burnett and NSW), Employ- ment Starter Kit Initiative (South East Queensland, Mid Coast NSW and Far North Queensland) and Farm Performance Analysis using DairyBase with John Mul- vaney (June, all regions). Our YDN groups also have events planned as well. We will send out further details regarding these as soon as possible. Please feel free to contact your local Dairy Australia extension co- ordinator for more information.


    Brian Tessmann President

    Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation

    Policy impact on farmers ignored

    Workshops planned in all regions


    The Northern


    Editorial Editors: Carlene and Alastair Dowie PO Box 59, Carisbrook, Vic, 3464 Email: Phone: (03) 5464 1542 Mobile: 0418 553 282

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    Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation Ltd Adrian Peake, Executive Offi cer PO Box 13061, George Street Post Shop, Brisbane, Qld, 4003 Phone: (07) 3236 2955 Fax: (07) 3236 2956 Email:

    Subtropical Dairy Brad Granzin Executive Offi cer Mobile: 0431 197 479 Email:

    Mailing and distribution The Northern Dairyfarmer is distributed to dairyfarmers throughout Queensland and northern NSW. If you are a dairyfarmer and are not receiving a copy, contact: Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation PO Box 13061, George Street Post Shop, Brisbane, Qld, 4003 Phone: (07) 3236 2955 Fax: (07) 3236 2956 Email:

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    Published by: Agricultural Publishers Pty Ltd ABN 55 000 560 430

    ISSN 1833-8887

    The Northern Dairyfarmer magazine is a joint industry owned and operated publication targeted at delivering the latest research and development information and industry news to dairyfarmers and industry stakeholders of the northern dairy industry. The Northern Dairyfarmer is published on about the 13th of every second month in February, April, June, August, October and December.

    Ross McInnes Chair

    Subtropical Dairy

  • Minister for Small Business, Kelly O’Dwyer, and the Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce. (See more in story below.)

    QDO president Brian Tess- mann said the new provision would prevent fi rms with sub- stantial market power from en- gaging in conduct that has the purpose, effect or likely effect of substantially lessening com- petition.

    “The effects test is another tool to help provide integrity and transparency regarding the impact of retailer actions on

    suppliers,” Mr Tessmann said. “QDO has been very vocal

    in its support for the introduc- tion of the ‘effects test’ as it will deliver direct benefi t to our Queensland members.”

    ADF president Simone Jol- liffe said that in conjunction with the government’s intro- duction of the Food and Gro- cery Code, which included a large number of our recommen- dations, this was a constructive step toward fostering a more competitive business environ- ment. “Further, the appointment of Mick Keogh as the Austral- ian Competition and Consumer

    Commission’s fi rst Agricu


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