Guy Barnett,Minister for Primary Industries and Water
The Tasmanian Liberal Government is a strong supporter of the Tasmanian dairy industry and the important role of the Tasmanian Dairy Industry Authority as its independent regulator.
Confidence amongst dairy farmers remains high and the dairy industry continues to deliver for Tasmania with the sector having an extremely bright future on the back of good opening milk contracts and near record production.
The TDIA, as the regulator, is investigating and managing effluent issues identified at Van Dairy Ltd (VDL) farms. The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is also involved. The issues at Van Dairy farms do not reflect the Tasmanian dairy industry as a whole.
The TDIA has considerable powers to deal with these identified issues and the Government receives regular briefings from the TDIA, as the independent regulator and also from my Department.
Animal welfare also remains a priority for Government, and Biosecurity Tasmania continues to monitor the current situation and engage with Van Dairy property managers and owners in relation to their animal welfare obligations.
In the past three years Biosecurity Tasmania staff have investigated animal welfare reports relating to VDL farms and there have been no prosecutions under the Animal Welfare Act relating to VDL Farms.
While the Greens may relish any opportunity to undermine our essential primary industries, the Tasmanian Government is engaging with and supporting the dairy industry with the objective of ensuring high standards are maintained across the dairy industry. I look forward to further advice from the independent regulator on this important matter.