Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has welcomed the announcement of Ian Zanstra as the state’s first Dairy Advocate, describing his role as key in the development of the industry.

The appointment of Mr Zanstra is the delivery of a 2019 State Election commitment to dairy farmers by the NSW Liberals & Nationals, Ms Cooke added.

“I’m delighted that the NSW dairy industry has an experienced and strong voice in Ian Zanstra who will create strong links between industry and government to help grow a more robust and more profitable dairy industry,” Ms Cooke said.

“Our wonderful dairy farmers in the Cootamundra electorate do a fantastic job under often very challenging conditions, more so now during this time of drought.

“I’m pleased to be able to announce that their voices will be heard via the expertise of Mr Zanstra.

“His experience operating dairies as well as his work as chairman and board member of Dairy Farmers Milk Co-Operative and as a member of NSW Farmers Dairy Committee will ensure that our dairy industry will be well represented within the NSW Government.”

Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall said the Advocate would play a key role in helping to grow a stronger, more profitable dairy industry in NSW.

“The Advocate will champion dairy in NSW by providing advice to both government and industry on how we can better support our producers and create more value across the entire supply chain.

“There’s no doubt the NSW dairy industry has faced some serious challenges in recent years but I’m confident this role will provide the support our producers need and help ensure NSW remains a fresh milk State.”

Mr Zanstra said: “I’m absolutely honoured to be appointed to this role and look forward to working with industry and government to build a stronger dairy supply chain in NSW.

“My first priority is to establish an industry Advisory Panel, which will play a key role in identifying immediate and necessary actions for the sector and shaping advice to the Government.”

The Advocate will help provide a united voice for industry, deliver clear advice to Government and help drive profitability across the industry supply chain. They will also assist in the delivery of a Dairy Action Plan and a ‘buy local fresh milk’ campaign.