Dairy levy to remain

DAIRY LEVY REMAINS: South East dairy farmer Don Stoll says the dairy levy decision was made due to farmers feeling as if they are not seeing value for their money.

FARMERS have voted to keep the mandatory dairy levy as is after an independent committee recommended otherwise.

The levy is currently paid to Dairy Australia on the amount of fat (2.8683 cents per kilogram) and protein (6.9914 cents per kilogram) in the milk.

Earlier this year the levy was reviewed by an independent committee which made a suggestion to increase it by 20 per cent.

The recommendation was then put to the vote of farmers as to whether it should remain the same or rise by either 15, 20 or 25 per cent.

Dairy Australia was notified that 64 per cent of farmers wanted no change to the current levy.

Funds raised from the levy go towards research and development into the industry across a multitude of different areas.

South East dairy farmer Don Stoll said the choice was made on a national scale, making it clear what farmers across Australia wanted.

“The research funding goes into everything [dairy related] and there are farmers who have felt they have not gotten their money’s worth out of the levy in regards to research which is why they have voted for the zero per cent increase,” Mr Stoll said.

“That is why the result was what the result was and is also the general feedback from farmers.”

He said it was important the levy was reviewed every four years due to constant change within the industry.

“It has been hard for farmers over the past few years as well which probably explains why at the last review they chose to keep it the same,” Mr Stoll said.

“We are in another economic climate and I see the importance of the levy going into research and development but the research has to be spread pretty wide because of the nature of dairy in Australia.

“Every area is chasing different results and it is hard for one thing to fit everyone.”

There has been no change to the Dairy Levy since 2012.