The dairy industry crisis that was triggered by Murray Goulburn’s shock milk price cut is quickly spreading, with supply companies Fonterra and Lion also announcing cuts to farm gate prices.
Yet Barnaby Joyce remains silent. His only contributions so far have been to tell farmers to call the ACCC and a promise that he will try to visit to South West Victoria sometime next week.
“Always keen to illegitimately claim credit when commodities prices are rising, Barnaby Joyce's silence is deafening whenever and wherever they are falling,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.
“The Deputy Prime Minister fiddles while the dairy industry suffers. It’s an insult to hard working dairy families.”
Mr Fitzgibbon was supported by Victoria’s Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford who said now, more than ever, it was time for the dairy industry to unite.
"Barnaby Joyce's inaction for the dairy sector speaks volumes about his disinterest in Victorian agriculture. We have thousands of farmers really hurting and the silence from Canberra is deafening,” Minister Pulford said.
“Our first priority is to help farmers control the things they can and to make sure they have access to the support they need – whether that be one-to-one financial advice or crucial mental health support.”
Labor candidate for Corangamite Libby Coker joined Mr Fitzgibbon and Minister Pulford on their visit to Colac today.
“The Turnbull Government has deserted our region’s dairy farmers. We’ve not heard a word from either Barnaby Joyce or Sarah Henderson. It’s as if this crisis isn’t happening,” Ms Coker said.
Mr Fitzgibbon said that at a time when Barnaby Joyce should be giving dairy farming families hope, he has instead let them down by condoning the actions of Murray Goulburn through his silence and inaction.
“At the very least Barnaby Joyce should have sought some contrition from the Murray Goulburn Board, and demanded the Board establish a path to restoring confidence in its capacity to deliver on their mandate,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.
“If that means a new Board, so be it.”
THURSDAY, 12 MAY 2016
JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
THE HON JOEL FITZGIBBON MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE,
FISHERIES AND FORESTRY
SHADOW MINISTER FOR RURAL AFFAIRS
THE HON JAALA PULFORD MLC
VICTORIAN MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE
VICTORIAN MINISTER FOR REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT
LABOR CANDIDATE FOR CORANGAMITE