Update on dairy reform consultation

18 June 2020

Dear Industry Stakeholder,

The newly formed Organisational Reform Steering Committee is now meeting weekly to progress the reform that industry overwhelmingly demanded via the Dairy Plan process. Having been elected as Chair of the committee following its formation, I wanted to summarise initial areas of focus as part of regular updates you will receive on our activities.

There is naturally much conjecture about what comes next given continued restrictions related to COVID-19. For the Steering Committee, our immediate priority is to listen and respond to leadership groups and establish their reaction to the Joint Transition Team (JTT) report and its proposed NewCo B model.

We have undertaken an administrative process to review written submissions and identify the matters for further debate. However, the written responses to the JTT report are only one early step in the consultation. Our engagement lead, David Palmer, is currently meeting 1:1 with each of the State Dairy Farmer Organisation (SDFO) presidents and scheduling virtual meetings with leadership groups including the Regional Development Programs (RDPs), by region, with a mandate to simply ‘listen’ to what these groups are saying about reform. Regions will be able to choose if they meet in this first round as a cohort (RDPs with their respective SDFO), or separately.

These will be the first of what we are sure will be several or indeed many such meetings in the process of listening ahead of commencing the detail design options. Consultation with the processing and manufacturing sector is also about to start, aiming to reach as many businesses as we can with a desire to engage in the conversation about dairy industry organisational reform.

Concurrently, we have commissioned Ernst & Young (EY) to explore the operational detail of a range of reform solutions, with a whole-of-industry approach. The Steering Committee has committed that especially given the sometimes divergence of views of its three partners (ADF, ADFP and DA), it will not be taking big steps without engaging industry at every level. It is currently working on articulating the big issues that we know hold concerns for stakeholders, in order to be clear and concise with EY about the scope of their work.

Then, once EY have material for us to share, the next wave of consultation will be David Palmer coming back to all the leadership groups (in the first instance), to pose a structure that the Steering Committee believes takes into account your feedback, questions and doubts, for industry to further review and respond to.

We respect the function of the leadership groups and our undertaking is to commence the second wave of consultation with these groups, ahead of moving to face to face consultations in the regions, which of course can only occur once COVID-19 restrictions are fully lifted.

Kind regards,

Terry Richardson
Chair of the Organisational Reform Steering Committee

Contact

All communications from the Organisational Reform Committee (ORSC)  in relation to the reform process will be distributed by Electronic Direct Mail (EDM) to a subscriber database, that includes all persons who participated in the Australian Dairy Plan, plus anyone who chooses to subscribe via the website.

Your direct contact with the ORSC is encouraged at any point by emailing contact@dairyplan.com.au.