About 100 dairy farmers came from across the state to the two-day UDV conference in Melbourne last week.By Laura Griffin
The UDV members travelled to the home of the AFL — the Melbourne Cricket Ground — to discuss issues closer to home including milk pricing, international market access and advocacy.
VFF president Peter Tuohey said milk prices were affected by local and global factors, including supply and demand, freight costs and the high Australian dollar.
‘‘In all reality, we can only have a minor effect on these factors, but I will add the VFF is involved in lowering or improving some of these circumstances,’’ Mr Tuohey said.
‘‘Without a strong farmer lobby group, we would be at the mercy of many supply chain costs and regulatory impacts.’’
He said the VFF had successfully lobbied for silage wagon road use changes, cow underpass funding, primary producer registration, B-double access, diesel fuel rebates and stamp duty exemption for young farmers.
He said effective advocacy needed a unified approach and good research.
Mr Tuohey said the VFF had invited Farmer Power to join and participate in a submission to Federal Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig for short-term grants.
West Goulburn branch member Wade Northausen said a much stronger representation from all the farmer lobby groups was needed on water issues, particularly the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
‘‘The Murray-Darling Basin Plan is the biggest threat we’ve seen to irrigated agriculture in Australia.’’
Mr Tuohey said the VFF was meeting with federal and Victorian politicians and would continue pushing to have farmers’ issues about this topic understood.
Fellow West Goulburn branch member Tim Leahy made the trip from Girgarre to Melbourne to fight for farmers’ rights and a better farm gate milk price.
‘‘During the next 12 months it will be very challenging to make a profit with increasing costs, including increasing power bills, grain prices and fertiliser costs,’’ Mr Leahy said.
VFF Campaspe group chair Peter Gibson said the conference was an opportunity to make farmers’ feelings known, including on milk pricing structures.
‘‘You would have to be a Rhodes Scholar to compare suppliers’ milk prices,’’ Mr Gibson said.
Murray Goulburn shareholder relations general manager Robert Poole foreshadowed the announcement of a new milk payment system to suppliers this week.
Mr Poole told the UDV conference the new system would be simpler and fairer.
Three people have been injured in a two-vehicle crash at the Puckapunyal Army Base.
Most people at the J C Lowe Oval left on Saturday evening talking about the game but not the result. Pigeon Coach Chris Kennedy summed up the feeling adequately when he said after the game; “it was a frustrating game, but my players weren’t responsible for the frustration.”
The move to extend the Tatura War Memorial area and honour Victoria Cross hero Robert Mactier with the erection of a statue in the Hogan St gardens named in his honour, continues.
A cement hopper, being towed by a cement truck, ended up on its side as the truck driver went around a bend in McMillan Rd, Echuca, this morning.
Campaspe Shire will host a workshop to help district contractors write council tenders.
The talent of Kyabram and District’s up-and-coming young sports stars was highlighted at the 2013 Kyabram and District Infinity Sportstar of the Year awards night.
Seymour defeated Echuca by 37 points in an excellent effort and a thrilling performance in round six of the Goulburn Valley Football League action on Saturday.
The Finley Apex Sports and Community Centre has secured a $500,000 grant from Regional Development Australia.
Much of the inspiration for Heathcote-based musician Doug Bruce's latest album came from driving on the McIvor Hwy, he says.
Detectives in pursuit of Australia’s most wanted man have not ruled out Cobram as a possible hiding place.
Record crowd predicted for the 2013 Deniliquin Ute Muster with the announcement of US country superstar Alan Jackson as the headline act.
The Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) is investigating incidents of abortion or still-births under the Lamb and Kid Mortality Surveillance Project.(LKSMP).
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