More than 100 people gathered in Tangambalanga today to discuss a vision for doubling milk production in the Alpine Valleys by 2050.
A delegation from the Alpine Valleys Dairy Pathways Project who led the meeting will come to Canberra in March at the invitation of Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan.
“Dairy farmers are taking effective action to embrace opportunities in a global market,” Ms McGowan said.
The meeting heard about great opportunities in the dairy industry beyond the current challenges with Centrelink. Other topics covered included the importance of energy supply, education, climate change and leadership.
“The government has an important role to play in providing the policy framework to make sure that the industry is supported in its long term vision.
“The dairy industry in the Kiewa, King and Ovens valleys currently contributes $380 million to the local economy. Doubling output from 220 to 400 million litres per year would generate an estimated 700 extra jobs for the region.
“The AVDPP has developed a strategy and now they are calling on the government to work with them to implement the plan.”
Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie, NXT spokesperson for agriculture, also attended the meeting.
“Ms Sharkie’s support for the AVDPP’s vision and agribusiness is very welcome. I look forward to working with her in Parliament to assist our dairy farmers,” Ms McGowan said.
The AVDPP is seeking meetings through Ms McGowans’ office with the Minister for Agriculture and Water Barnaby Joyce, Minister for Regional Development Fiona Nash, Shadow Minister for Rural and Regional Australia Joel Fitzgibbon, and Senator for Victoria Jane Hume who chairs the Senate Committee for the Inquiry into the Australian dairy industry.
“As an independent representative my role is to bring Indi’s dairy farmers together with decision-makers,” Ms McGowan said.
“It’s time for the government to step up and look after our dairy farmers for the long term.”
The release date for the report of the Senate Inquiry into the dairy industry has been extended to 30 March 2017.