Dairy Levy Review survey
To provide your views complete the below and attach any written submission.
Dairy Australia’s role is to provide services that benefit and advance dairy farm businesses and the industry. The levy contributes to research and innovation and the delivery of services that support farm business management, tools to adapt to the environment and address climate, attracting people to the industry and building skills, driving community trust and support for dairy through marketing, policy research, market insights, and trade relations.
A review of the Dairy Australia levy is currently underway with the formation of a Levy Poll Advisory Committee (LPAC).
The levy is reviewed at least every five years with input from farmers and other industry stakeholders. Since 1997, there has only been one change to the levy – a 10% increase in 2010.
Approximately $55M is invested each year to help deliver these services, which includes 50% from levy funds, 35% Government and 14% external contributions/grants, other 1%. For more information on the below areas of investment and what it means for your farm business click here.
The LPAC manages the levy review process and it comprises of nine dairy farmers along with five representatives (three of which are dairy farmers) from industry bodies (as required by legislation). Chaired by Ron Storey, the LPAC is expected to make a decision regarding the levy by June 2021. In the event a change to the levy is recommended and a levy poll is required, this process would extend into 2022.
In the LPACs role of reviewing whether the levy should increase, decrease or stay the same, the LPAC will receive and consider:
This is not about industry advocacy, code of conduct, milk price – the LPAC review of the levy relates only to services delivered by the levy - which includes research and innovation, learning and capability development, marketing, policy research, market insights, and trade development.)
Chair - Ron Storey
Ron Storey is an experienced agribusiness executive and Non-Executive Director. He is Chairman of the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre and a former Chairman of Pulse Australia Limited. During his executive career Mr Storey was Head of NZX Agribusiness Australia, Managing Director of Australian Crop Forecasters and General Manager Marketing, AWB Ltd.
The following dairy farmer and industry body representatives have been appointed to the Levy Poll Advisory Committee:
The Levy Poll Advisory Committee’s Terms of Reference summarises the role of the committee and requirements of committee members.
The Levy Poll Advisory Committee (LPAC) is convened to provide a recommendation on whether the levy should change and subsequently, whether a Levy Poll vote should occur.
The LPAC comprises of a majority of levy payers who are reflective of levy payers nationally.
LPAC representatives will be paid a sitting fee of $330/day for time spent on LPAC matters and any travel costs (fares, meals, accommodation) will be covered.
In late 2015, all dairy levy payers were asked to vote in a poll based on the recommendations of the Dairy Levy Poll Process Review undertaken earlier that year. Levy payers supported the removal of the compulsory requirement for Dairy Australia to convene a levy poll at least every five years. Instead, a LPAC would be convened to determine if a change to the levy should be recommended.
The aim was to ensure that the costs associated with a levy poll are not incurred if there is no change to the poll. In early 2016, legislation passed the Federal Parliament to amend Section 9 of the Dairy Produce Act 1986 (the Act) and effect this change. The new legislation also provides an option for Group A members to petition for a change if they disagree with an LPAC recommendation not to conduct a levy poll.
Once a levy poll is triggered the levy poll must be conducted with the following key considerations:
An information pack including voting instructions and documentation around performance, and use of levy funds, is required to be sent to all levy payers at least five weeks prior to the poll and approved by the Minister.
The levy poll must be designed to determine which levy option is preferred by eligible voters:
Electronic voting may occur if the LPAC is satisfied the requirements in the legislation are met.
Dairy Australia then has 14 business days after the declaration to:
Ballot papers must be kept for two years from the date of the levy poll in the event of an order lodged for a review of the results.
Please speak to a member of your regional team (Regional Development Program). Questions relating to the levy review process or nominating for the Levy Poll Advisory Committee should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updated information will also be made available throughout the levy review process.