Government is consistent with dairy

Monday, 29 January 2007     

The Australian dairy industry believes the Australian Government’s national water initiative announcement is consistent with its strong views on water utilization in agriculture and dairy in particular.  Australian Dairy Farmers (representing the nation’s dairy farmers) and industry services company Dairy Australia have jointly released a statement in which they expressed cautious optimism.

ADF president Allan Burgess said Prime Minister John Howard’s announcement was entirely consistent with the industry’s view on water and largely reflected the principles of discussions the industry has been having with Government in recent months. “On the surface at least, the Government’s announcement appears to continue the dairy industry’s thrust to support farmers and their investment in maximizing what is now recognized more widely as the nation’s most valuable resource,” Mr. Burgess said.
“The announcement contains many features and principles in common with the industry – most particularly the wisdom of co-investment with farmers in leading-edge water management infrastructure. “The principles the industry applies to water use also embrace continuous improvement in the effective and efficient use of water.  It would appear the government’s approach is consistent with ours.  We look forward to seeing the detail of the proposal and to discuss how the dairy industry can make a further contribution to the long term sustainability of irrigation water use in Australia. “However, we will need to see the detail of the initiative before we can give it a solid endorsement,” Mr. Burgess said.

Dairy Australia managing director Mike Ginnivan agreed: “Dairy has always recognised the value and critical importance of water and organisations like ours have a history of research into how we can best use it. We therefore welcome the opportunity of significant additional funds and a national response. “Dairy Australia and its predecessor organisations have conducted research into on farm infrastructure and water delivery systems e.g. channel control, piping and river control infrastructure,” Dr Ginnivan said. The Australian dairy industry uses almost 40 percent of the water utilised in food production across the nation and more than half of the nation’s dairy farmers irrigate all or part of their farm. “The high returns from dairy products coupled to the high level of water usage across the industry means that dairy produces a profit from irrigation that’s greater than any other industry in Australia,” Dr Ginnivan said.



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