Industry Bodies & Agencies

There are countless bodies and institutions that service the sheepmeat and wool sectors of Australian Agriculture.

So many, that it is often confusing to understand the roles, responsibilities and accountabilities of the different organisations. 

The aim is to give you — on one page — an overall understanding of who is supporting the work that you do and where to go if you need knowledge of where your levies go, or with assistance and information relevant to your enterprise.



Read The Australian Wool Market: An Introduction (AWEX) to get started.


The wide array of industry bodies have been divided into four key sections: 










For links to farmer advocacy bodies (both national and state), please visit the Farmer Advocacy and Representation page.


COMMONWEALTH GOVERNMENTDepartment of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF)

Last election: 7 September 2013

Next election: No later than 14 January 2017

Party in power: Coalition

Prime MinisterThe Hon Tony Abbott MP

Minister(s): The Hon Barnaby Joyce MP (Minister for Agriculture and Deputy Leader for the Nationals)

Staff: Approximately 4,500 full-time equivalent staff in Australia.

Key responsibilities: develop and implement policies and programs that ensure Australia's agricultural, fisheries, food and forestry industries remain competitive, profitable and sustainable.

Portfolio: Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES - research bureau within the Department), Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA - management of Commonwealth fish resources), Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority), Five Research and Development Corporations (Cotton Research and Development CorporationFisheries Research and Development CorporationGrains Research and Development CorporationAustralian Grape and Wine AuthorityRural Industries Research and Development Corporation).

Why would you access this site?: Learn how to export your product or apply for a package assisting small exporters, understand biosecurity concerns or report an issue, access drought and rural assistance, learn about Australia's trade and market access agreements, current grants and assistance, or access ABARES for statistics, commodity outlooks and raw data.


COMMONWEALTH GOVERNMENT, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)

Minister(s): The Hon Julie Bishop MP (Minister for Foreign Affairs and Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party) and The Hon Andrew Robb AO MP (Minister for Trade and Investment).

Staff:  4,200 staff in Canberra, state and territory offices and overseas posts. 2,400 employed overseas as locally engaged staff.

Key responsibilities: provides foreign, trade and development policy advice to the government. Works with other government agencies to ensure that Australia’s pursuit of its global, regional and bilateral interests is coordinated effectively.

Why would you access this site?: Access economic fact sheets and understand country trade agreements, find trade and investment case studies and resources.   


NSW STATE GOVERNMENT, Department of Primary Industries (DPI)

Last election: 28 March 2015

Next election: 2019

Party in power: Liberal National Coalition

Premier: The Hon Mike Baird MP

Minister(s): Hon. Niall Blair MLC (Minister for Primary Industries, Minister for Lands and Water and Member of the The Nationals) 

Staff: Approximately 3,700 staff across 130 locations in NSW.

Key responsibilities: DPI is a division within NSW Trade & Investment. Responsibilities include developing profitable, sustainable and biosecure agriculture, and fisheries; ensuring best management of catchments, natural resources and water; and regulating the state's food sector.

Portfolio: Local Land ServicesAgricultureFisheriesNSW Food AuthorityBiosecurity,  NSW Office of Water Land & Natural Resources.

Why would you access this site?:  Read NSW Wool Industry Industry & Future Opportunities Report, access sheep production information (feeding and nutrition, disease, management, marketing and budgeting), pasture information and PROfarm courses, NSW Farmer of the Year, farm business and trade resourcesupcoming courses, and drought management information and funding.


QLD STATE GOVERNMENT, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAF)

Last election: 31 January 2015

Next election: In, or before, 2018

Party in power: Australian Labor Party

Premier: Hon. Annastacia Palaszczuk MP

Minister(s): Hon. Bill Byrne MP (Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries and Minister for Sport and Racing)

Staff: Unknown

Why would you access this site?: Information on improving your flock (sheep breeding and genetics), biosecurity, and a research archive.


VICTORIAN STATE GOVERNMENT, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI)

Last election: 29 November 2014

Next election: 24 November 2018

Party in power: Australian Labor Party

Premier: Hon. Daniel Andrews MP

NOTE: Following the election at the end of 2014, there was a change of Government and DEPI no longer exists. However, the majority of information relevant to producers is still embedded in this site. Refer to the new departments below.

Why would you access this site?: Access farm management resources (chemical use, land resources, business and pasture management, FarmPlan21) and pest, disease and weed information.



VICTORIAN STATE GOVERNMENT, Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport & Resources

Last election: 29 November 2014

Next election: 24 November 2018

Party in power: Australian Labor Party

Premier: Hon. Daniel Andrews MP

Minister(s): The Hon. Jaala Pulford MLC (Minister for AgricultureMinister for Regional Development), The Hon. Martin Foley MP (Minister for Creative Industries), The Hon. Jacinta Allan MP (Minister for EmploymentMinister for Public Transport), The Hon. Lily D'Ambrosio MP (Minister for Energy and ResourcesMinister for Industry), The Hon. Natalie Hutchins MP (Minister for Industrial Relations),  The Hon. Steve Herbert MP (Minister for International Education), The Hon. Luke Donnellan MP (Minister for PortsMinister for Roads and Road Safety), The Hon. Adem Somyurek MLC (Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade), The Hon. John Eren MP (Minister for Tourism and Major Events)

Staff: Unknown

Why would you access this site?: Wouldn't recommend it as yet!

NOTE: This Department brings together the following former Departments: Department of State Development, Business and InnovationDepartment of Transport, Planning and Local InfrastructureDepartment of Environment and Primary Industries; and,  


 SA STATE GOVERNMENT, Primary Industries and Resources SA (PIRSA)

Last election: 15 March 2014

Next election: 17 March 2018

Party in power: Australian Labor Party

Premier: Hon. Jay Weatherill MP

Minister(s): Hon. Leon Bignell MP (Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, Minister for Forests, Minister for Tourism, Minister for Recreation and Sport, Minister for Racing), Hon. Geoff Brock MP (Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Local Government).

Staff: Unknown.

Key responsibilities: plays a key role in contributing to the sustainable development of South Australia’s natural, industrial and community assets.

Portfolio: Agriculture, Food and WineBiosecurity SAForestry, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Regions SA, South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), Rural Solutions SASeed Services Australia

Why would you access this site?: Access livestock production information (animal health, business and technical advice, research and development), industry support (drought concessional loans, farm support, business and risk management) and grants and assistancebiosecurity resources and alerts, or visit SARDI for research reports and the Australian Pastures Genebank.


WA STATE GOVERNMENT, Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA)

Last election: 9 March 2013

Next election: 11 March 2017

Party in power: Liberal Party

Premier: Hon. Colin Barnett MP

Minister(s):  Hon. Ken Baston MLC (Minister for Agriculture and Food)

Staff: Unknown.

Key responsibilities: drives the economic development of the agriculture and food sector in Western Australia (WA), with a focus on export-led growth.

Why would you access this site?: Access livestock management resources (feeding and nutrition, management and reproduction, genetics and selection), pest, weed and disease informationbiosecurity information, and production tools (including WeedWatcher and seasonal climate information).


TASMANIAN STATE GOVERNMENT, Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE)

Last election: 15 March 2014

Next election: Before 31 December 2018

Party in power: Liberal Party

Premier: Hon Will Hodgman MP

Minister(s): Hon. Jeremy Rockliff (Minister for Primary Industries and Water), Hon Matthew Groom (Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage)

Staff: Unknown.

Key responsibilities: responsible for the sustainable management and protection of Tasmania's natural and cultural assets

Why would you access this site?: Visit AgriGrowth Tasmania — a new division within the Department — for production, irrigation, climate, and land management resources.


NORTHERN TERRITORY GOVERNMENT, Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (DPIF)

Last election: 25 August 2012

Next election: 27 August 2016

Party in power: Country Liberal

Chief Minister: Hon Adam Graham Giles MLA

Minister(s): Hon. Willem Rudolf Westra van Holthe MLA (Minister for Primary Industry and Fisheries, Minister for Land Resource Management, Minister for Essential Services, Minister for Public Employment).

Staff: Unknown.

Key responsibilities: delivers strategic services that support profitable and sustainable primary production.

Why would you access this site?: Access drought assistance, animal health and welfare information, and sheep biosecurity resources.



History: Declared marketing, research and development body under the Australian Meat & Livestock Industry Act 1997.

Key responsibilities: market access, growing demand, increasing productivity across supply chain, supporting industry integrity and sustainability.

Membership: Free to over 47,500 livestock levy-paying producers of cattle, sheepmeat and/or goats.

Funding: A proportion of transaction levies paid on livestock sales by producers. Australian Government matches dollar for dollar MLA spending on R&D.

Why would you access this site?: Access the latest price and market information, research and development reports, and livestock production information.



History: Established in 2001 under the Australian Wool Research and Promotion Organisation (AWRAP). Separated to become an independent company in 2001 and purchased the Woolmark brand in 2007.

Key responsibilities: invest in research, development, marketing and promotion of wool.

Membership: Wool levies, government contributions, licences fees and others.

Funding: Not-for-profit company owned by over 29,000 wool levy payers who have registered as AWI shareholders.

Why would you access this site?: Access market intelligence (weekly and monthly reports, production forecasts, sheep numbers and survey reports), on-farm research and development reports and results, events and education opportunities, and tools for woolgrowers



History: Established in 1926, CSIRO is an Australian Government Corporate Entity that undertakes research for the benefit of Australia.

Key responsibilities: help grow Australia's productivity through excellent science that provides a positive impact for Australia. CSIRO operates through three lines of business:

Staff: over 5,000 people working out of 55 centres in Australia and throughout the world..

Funding: responsible and accountable to the Australian Government

Why would you access this site?: read the latest animal welfare research, latest advancements in livestock precision technology and research into premium breeds.



History: Partnership with MLA and AWI.

Key responsibilities: improve the value of genetic gain, provides a single national language in the form of Australian Sheep Breeding Values ASBVs delivered through LAMBPLAN and MERINOSELECT.

Membership: Subscription fees for breeders unknown.

Funding:  Non-for-profit with unknown funding model (MLA/AWI partnership).

Why would you access this site?: Access breeding services, tips for ram buyers and breeders, access to service providers, resources, case studies and marketing tips.



History: The Sheep CRC, established in July 2001, originally had funding until 2008. This was extended to 2014, and most recently, to 2019. 

Key responsibilities:  The CRC Programme supports industry led end-user driven research collaborations to address the major challenges facing Australia. This five year term is focused on 

Member OrganisationsThere are 40 Sheep CRC Participants.

Membership: All free material.

Funding: The Participants share of equity in the CRC is governed by the Participants Agreement.

Why would you access this site?: Access a wealth of production information, factsheets, research and trial information related to genetic gain, wellbeing and productivity, the meat value chain and training programs.



History: Established as a service provider for the livestock export industry in 1998 following a restructure of industry institutional arrangements.

Key responsibilities: animal health and welfare, supply chain efficiency, market access, RD&E.

Member Organisations: 45 members and associate members involved in export of Australian livestock.

Membership: No cost to all licensed exporters.

Funding: Statutory levies collected from livestock exporters.

Why would you access this site?: Access research information and results related to exporting sheep. 




The Sheep Connect NSW grower network is a partnership between Australian Wool innovation (AWI) and NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) to improve the productivity of the sheep industry in NSW and the ACT. 

SheepConnect SA, coordinated by Rural Solutions SA, is a partnership between AWI, the Australian Government, Government of South Australia and Grain & Graze.

Sheep Connect Tasmania is Australia Wool Innovation‘s (AWI’s) key investment in extension for the Tasmanian sheep and wool industries.  The program is a joint venture between AWI and theTasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA).

Key responsibilities: deliver information and be a conduit to extension resources, let woolgrowers know about events and training, and connect the wider sheep community.

Why would you access this site?: Find out about upcoming events, technical information, sheep consultants, producer case studies, factsheets, and other production resources. 



History: Leading Sheep is a partnership between the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, AWI and AgForce.

Key responsibilities: designed to help Queensland’s sheep and wool producers increase their long-term productivity and profitability. It aims to do this by maintaining a high level of engagement with producers in three regions across the state — south, south west and north/central west.

Why would you access this site?: Find out about upcoming events, access production information, e-books and webinars. 




History: The Red Meat Advisory Council was formed in 1998.

Key responsibilities: Peak body representing the collective interests of Australia’s red meat and livestock industry.

Members: Cattle Council of Australia, Sheepmeat Council of Australia, Australian Lot Feeders' Association, Australian Livestock Exporters' Council and Australian Meat Industry Council.

Why would you access this site?: Their site is currently being redeveloped — check back later! 



History: The Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC) was first established in 1928 as Master Butchers Meat and Allied Trades Federation of Australia. The name was changed to the National Meat Association of Australia in 1996, then to the AMIC in 2003.

Key responsibilities: peak industry body representing retailers, processors, exporters and small-goods manufacturers in the post-farm-gate meat industry.

Members: By application and approval by the Board.

Membership: Calculated by reference to numbers of premises and employees.

Why would you access this site?: To understand advocacy efforts along the supply chain and access resources on animal processing and welfare.



History: ALFA began working for members in the 1970s, but became a legislated peak body in 1998.

Key responsibilities: peak industry body representing the feedlot industry.

Members: Owners or leasees of feedlots in Australia or internationally, individuals or companies interested in the industry, or students.

Membership: $50 - $400 (plus 38c per head capacity rate) depending on category of membership.

Why would you access this site? understand the key policy considerations around feedlots, the latest news and survey results, and access resources specific to lotfeeders. 

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