Skilled and motivated workforce

Dairy takes charge of extension

The goal with extension is to increase the rate of change on-farm for more profitable, sustainable and competitive dairy farm businesses. This requires a better model for the delivery of extension services. 

Dairy Australia has been implementing a new model for extension in which it takes on more of the overall responsibility for the coordination of these services. The aim is to achieve better co-ordination of extension in each region and delivery of improved services to farmers.

A national extension platform is being developed, which includes a regional backbone through the Regional Development Programs, Extension Coordinators in all regions, continued investment in group based extension activities, including Focus Farms, discussion groups and the development of key extension programs.

Dairy Australia works with multiple partners and organisations from the private and public sectors and continues to invest with State Governments in a more integrated approach to research, development and extension.

In Western Australia, the establishment of the Dairy Industry Hub by Western Dairy, has been achieved through collaboration with Dairy Australia and the WA Department of Agriculture and Food.  This initiative has been welcomed by the dairy industry in Western Australia.

Dairy has been reviewing the issue of workers along the supply chain. There will be further demand on farmers and businesses to have a clear understanding of all elements of their operations and their supply chains. Dairy recognizes this responsibility. Last year, the Australian Government signed off on UN Sustainable Development Goals in principle, including the need for the right of all workers to a safe, fair and respectful work environment. The dairy industry supports the Government approach on these goals.

We will be following the outcomes of the Victorian State Government’s Inquiry into the Labour Hire Industry and Insecure Work that reports to the Premier and the Minister for Industrial Relations in July 2016. The performance indicators will also be discussed in 2016 to see if they are still the best measures to ensure safe work environments and what needs to be considered if industry wishes to measure the provision of a fair and ethical work environment. As an example, illegal migrant labour is an important issue in all sectors, including the dairy industry. Mental health and safety have also been raised as areas for further discussion.