Win for Victorian dairy farmers on silage tyres

In a big win for Victorian dairy farmers, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) has announced that farmers will now only need to register when they use old tyres to weigh down silage, rather than needing to obtain a licence.

Minister Lilly D’Ambrosio has approved an amendment to new regulations for farmers using tyres for silage weights.

Farmers using more than five cubic metres of waste tyres for silage production will need to register their tyres with the Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

This is a free online process which farmers would need to complete by 1 July 2023. Once registered, farmers simply need to continue to ensure silage tyres are stored in a way that effectively manages any risks, and EPA will provide guidelines as to what this will include.

Previously, a paid license system had been in place which put an unfair financial burden on dairy farmers.  The changes come after more than two years of consultation between Dairy Australia, DEWLP, the EPA and the United Dairyfarmers of Victoria (UDV)/Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF).

The regulations aim to strike the right balance between protecting the environment and ensuring farmers can carry out the processes they need to feed their animals.

Other people storing large quantities of used tyres on farm for purposes other than silage production will still need an EPA licence.

UDV President Mark Billing said the decision was welcome news for dairy farmers throughout the state.

“Farmers helped provide invaluable information that was used to design these new regulations. We believe this move will streamline compliance and remove the need for a license,” Mr Billing said.

“It’s certainly a better outcome than the current licensing system and will benefit farmers who are storing large quantities of silage,” he said.

Dairy Australia Managing Director David Nation said the move was a win for Victorian dairy farmers.

“This is a good common-sense solution,” said Mr Nation. “It removes the financial burden from farmers but still allows the EPA to protect the environment. We are glad we could work closely with the UDV/VFF and the Department to help deliver a result that achieves a better balance between managing environmental risk and cost for farmers.”

DELWP consulted with farmers earlier in the year about the regulations.

Dairy Australia will continue to work with EPA, UDV and VFF to ensure the safe storage guidelines are clear, concise and recognise on-farm practice and realities. To find out more visit the Victorian regulations webpage.

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