The senate inquiry into the dairy industry has suspended all public hearings until April 30 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It has also suspended external committee activities.
The committee is looking at the performance of Australia's dairy industry and the profitability of Australian dairy farmers since deregulation in 2000, with particular reference to:
- The ability of Dairy Australia to act independently and support the best interests of both farmers and processors.
- The accuracy of statistical data collected by Dairy Australia and the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
- The funding of Dairy Australia and the extent of its consultation and engagement on the expenditure of levies revenue.
- The merits of tasking the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to investigate how it can regulate the price of milk per litre paid by processors to dairy farmers to ensure a viable dairy industry;
- Alternative approaches to supporting a viable dairy sector.
- The introduction of a mandatory industry code of practice.
A public hearing was scheduled for Murray Bridge, SA, on April 15.
No other scheduled public hearings are listed on the inquiry's website.
A spokesman said it was likely the suspended dates would be rescheduled once the committee determined to lift the suspension.
"This will rely heavily on the directive of the state and federal government regarding travel restrictions and border closures," he said.
The inquiry is due to report by June 25.
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