Final Dairy Plan workshop

Australian Dairy Plan workshops are finished: what happened and what's next


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Dairy Plan workshops attracted more than 1000 people. But what happened and what's next?

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"My worry is that with all the work that's been put in, it'll be published, read and not much will happen."

Dairy farmer Sharyn Allott of Welshpool made the remark during the closing moments of the final Australian Dairy Plan workshop in Leongatha yesterday.

"You'll only believe it when you see it," was the response from workshop facilitator, Stephen Petris of the Nous Group.

"I understand that but I believe it should have some accountability," Ms Allott replied.

Closing the sessions, Australian Dairyfarmers director John Versteden said he was determined the plan would not gather dust.

"I'm happy to give my number to anyone who has doubts that we will follow through," Mr Versteden said.

"We will make this work."

Ms Allott's comments are mirrored by farmer sentiment on social media concerning the Australian Dairy Plan.

Nevertheless, it has not deterred more than 1000 farmers and other industry stakeholders from attending workshops right around Australia's dairy regions.

The final session at Leongatha's RSL club yesterday attracted a crowd of 50-odd participants, about half of them dairy farmers.

Bankers, consultants, stockfeed companies, processors, agronomists rubbed sat around tables with farmers for four-and-a-half hours.

The four-part agenda asked participants how much appetite there was for change, the issues that needed to be addressed and potential solutions.

Each participant then voted for their top five priorities out of the list of 22 solutions generated during the session before joining a group of their choice to flesh out the most popular few.

The solutions raised at the Leongatha session encompassed the galaxy of issues facing the industry.

The next step is that consultants Nous Group will develop a draft of the ADP based on the feedback from all the dairy regions to be presented at a National Dairy Workshop in July.

The final dairy plan will likely be delivered, Mr Petris said, in October.

Gardiner Dairy Foundation chairman Bruce Kefford.
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