I am writing in response to David Joyce’s letter published on July 7, ‘Mining must be locked out’.
Dairy Australia (DA) appeared at the hearing into unconventional gas exploration in Victoria and stated clearly that the organisation neither supports nor opposes onshore gas mining; it is neutral. DA attended the hearing with colleagues from the Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) organisation.
In fact, it is the industry representative bodies, the Australian Dairy Farmers, Australian Dairy Industry Council and the Australian Dairy Products Federation that determine policy positions for the Australia dairy industry.
DA’s role in policy development is to support industry’s policy decision making by undertaking fact based technical support in the form of research and analysis.
This then helps to inform the industry and government policy decisions by highlighting their potential impact on the dairy industry.
Last year a substantial independent report was prepared by SLR Consultants for Dairy Australia on onshore gas mining and the safeguards required if it occurs in dairy regions, as is already the case in Gloucester in NSW.
Since the report was completed, the NSW Government has released its Gas Plan, acting on all recommendations from NSW Chief Scientist’s investigation.
The Gas Plan tightens up the level of regulation, increasing monitoring and enforcement.
DA’s involvement at the recent hearing was to provide support to the Australian Dairy Farmers by outlining the findings of the SLR report.
The full report is available on the Dairy Australia website, along with fact sheets on key issues to help dairy farmers and government to make informed policy decisions in this area.
I urge anyone interested in the research to read the report.
Charlie McElhone, Group Manager Trade and Strategy, Dairy Australia.