New agricultural advisory council to drive food and fibre industry forward

Image credit: Free Digital Photos user -Marcus-

The Minister for Agriculture and Food Security yesterday announced the formation of a new advisory council that will help guide the future of Victoria’s food and fiber industries.

Image credit: Free Digital Photos user -Marcus-
Image credit: Free Digital Photos user -Marcus-

According to Mr. Walsh, the goal of the Victorian Agriculture Advisory Council (VAAC) will be to provide strategic advice for support of food and fiber producers in times of industry pressure and crisis.

“The VAAC will provide advice in response to various industry pressures as they arise, including how seasonal and economic conditions are impacting Victoria’s agricultural and rural communities,” Mr. Walsh said in a media release.

“The Council’s advice will help the Coalition Government to build more productive, resilient and competitive agricultural businesses and communities in regional Victoria.”

The newly established Council will meet two times a year, as arranged in the meeting between Mr. Walsh and VAAC members.


“The VAAC’s inaugural members have been selected because they have a diverse range of expertise and experience across fields including agricultural industry development, banking, regional development, community health and small business,” Mr. Walsh said.

Mr. Walsh welcomed the formation of the Council and announced the appointment of Michael Taylor AO as chairman of the Council.

Mr. Taylor’s credentials are highlighted with his exemplary public service career which includes 15 years of service as Secretary for several Commonwealth departments including Agriculture and Fisheries and Forestry. He currently holds the position of chair of the Gardiner Foundation.

Mr. Walsh said that he expects the Council to contribute to the development of best-practice agriculture policy by providing the Coalition Government with sound, fact-based advice to drive the industry forward.

Below is the list of elected VAAC members:

  • Michael Taylor AO (Chair);
  • Mark Bennett, ANZ Banking Group;
  • Susan Brumby, National Centre for Farmer Health;
  • James Flintoft, Department of Environment and Primary Industries;
  • Alexandra Gartmann, Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal;
  • Rob Goudswaard, Rural Finance Corporation;
  • Dennis O’Connor, O’Connor’s Case IH – Farm Machinery;
  • Bernie O’Sullivan, Department of Environment and Primary Industries; and
  • Peter Tuohey, Victorian Farmers Federation