Coalition pledges funding for ADF

By Country News

Australian Dairy Farmers will receive $450000 for two projects to benefit farmers as part of a $22million funding package for the dairy industry if the Coalition wins Saturday’s election.

Among the promises is $300000 to develop a real-time dairy payment system and supply chain sharing platform using blockchain technology, and $150000 to develop with processors a simple standard form contract that incorporates requirements of the industry’s mandatory code of conduct.

ADF president Terry Richardson said the organisation supported the ‘‘windfall’’ for the dairy industry.

‘‘It is fantastic to see a real plan for the dairy industry and delivers on a number of key imperatives that we know will assist the industry,’’ he said.

Further funding would include $10million to support dairy farmers investing in more energy efficient equipment and $8.1million to extend the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s agriculture unit.

Farmer groups would also receive $3million to assist them to establish co-operatives, $500000 would be given to Dairy Australia to improve legal and financial literacy for contract negotiations with processors and a dairy industry specialist position would be created in the ACCC’s agriculture unit.

The election promise builds on a $560000 commitment for ADF to facilitate the development of a new dairy industry trading platform, as well the implementation of a mandatory code of conduct.

‘‘This is a timely and welcome announcement that will ensure the mandatory code of conduct is appropriately resourced, and the decision to appoint a dedicated dairy industry specialist within that unit is an important step in the process,’’ Mr Richardson said.