In a media statement today Agriculture Minister David Littleproud doubled-down on his opposition to Labor’s proposals to help to save Australia’s dairy farmers.
Minister Littleproud has been too quick to desert farmers in support of vested interests who believe Labor’s Minimum Farm Gate Milk Price will hit their bottom line.
While David Littleproud continues to avoid dairy farmers on the ground, today I continued my consultations with dairy industry stakeholders.
In Lismore today I met with the local cooperative Norco and in Kyogle I held another roundtable with local dairy farmers.
All stakeholders welcomed Labor’s acknowledgement of the seriousness of the dairy crisis and our willingness to take meaningful action. Dairy farmers expressed broad support for the Minimum Farm Gate Milk Price together with an enthusiasm to remain involved in the consultation process.
Indeed Kyogle dairy farmer Paul Weir today said, “We have had market failure certainly for the last eight years and Government policy has put the dairy industry in the position it is in. I welcome Joel’s comments today and look forward to the Government actually addressing it…these are very much welcome policies.”
Further Minister Littleproud is wrong to claim that there is no industry leadership support for Labor’s Minimum Farm Gate Milk Price.
Everywhere I travel farmers express their disappointment with the lack of support they are receiving from Liberal and National Members of Parliament.
Dairy farmers need help now and the ACCC would be well on its way to assessing Labor’s Minimum Farm Gate Milk Price if Liberal and National MPs with dairy farmers in their electorates had supported my proposal in the Parliament three weeks ago. The fact is the Morrison Government has deserted our dairy farmers.
Caught in a cost-price squeeze compounded by drought, dairy farmers told me today that the clock is ticking for them and the rest of Australia’s dairy industry but Minister Littleproud and his colleagues have abandoned them.