NSW Fresh Milk and Dairy Advocate

About the NSW Dairy Advocate

The NSW Fresh Milk and Dairy Advocate, Ian Zandstra, was appointed in September 2019, delivering on a key election commitment of the NSW Liberals & Nationals.

The Advocate works closely with industry and provides government with expert advice on how to best support the dairy industry in NSW.

The Advocate is supported by an industry advisory panel that was established in consultation with industry.

Ian Zandstra

Ian Zandstra has had a wide ranging and distinguished career spanning 37 years in the NSW dairy industry. He operates two dairies, including one on the South Coast near Nowra.

Mr Zandstra is the chair of the Dairy Industry Advisory Panel and is currently working with the panel to develop a NSW dairy industry action plan, with actions to underpin a successful future for the NSW dairy industry.

Since his appointment Mr Zandstra has met with dairy farmers and industry stakeholders across NSW.

In the role, Mr Zandstra has provided advice to the government on response and recovery following the 2019-20 bushfire season that had a devastating impact on the dairy industry, particularly on the south coast of NSW.

Mr Zandstra has attended meetings of the ACCC Dairy Consultative Committee and is providing advice to the NSW Government on the effectiveness of the Mandatory Dairy Code. He has worked closely with NSW DPI to establish the Dairy Business Advisory Unit.

Contact details

Mr Ian Zandstra
Dairy Advocate

NSW Dairy Industry Advisory Panel

The NSW Dairy Industry Advisory Panel is an independent panel that provides advice to the NSW Fresh Milk and Dairy Advocate on:

  • developing a NSW Dairy Action Plan
  • reporting on the NSW Dairy Action Plan
  • developing a NSW Dairy Research and Development Investment Plan
  • the implementation and evaluation of the National Mandatory Dairy Code in NSW

The panel has met every month since January 2020.


The following members were appointed to the NSW Dairy Industry Advisory Panel through an EOI and selection process run in November 2019.

  • Tim Bale, Chair Midcoast Dairy Advancement Group and dairy farmer
  • Scott Barnett, dairy consultant
  • Tony Burnett, Regional Manager Dairy Farmers Milk Cooperative; Director Dairy NSW
  • Sheena Carter, NSW DPI Dairy Business Advisory Unit (previously Extension Officer Dairy NSW at time of appointment to the panel)
  • Robert Cooper, dairy farmer
  • Sergio (Yani) Garcia, Professor of Dairy Science, University of Sydney and Director Dairy Research Foundation
  • Ken Garner, Regional Manager South East Local Land Services; Former Senior Manager Milk Supply Bega Cheese; past Director of Dairy NSW
  • Michael Jeffery, Chair Norco & dairy farmer
  • Ian Lean, Adjunct Professor University of Sydney, Managing Director Scibus, Director Dairy Connect
  • Phil Ryan, NSW Farmers Association Dairy Committee Deputy Chair and dairy farmer