Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 13 September 2018
Page: 29


Senator HANSON (Queensland) (12:13): I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the dairy industry in Australia was de-regulated in 2000, and since that time milk production has fallen from 12 billion litres a year to 9.5 billion litres a year, while the population has increased from 19 million to 25 million people,

(ii) the number of dairy farms has declined in Queensland from around 1,500 to about 380,

(iii) Queensland dairy herds are now in immediate danger through a failure of the winter and summer seasonal crops, and the shortage of quality feed means it is likely that whole herds will be sent to the slaughterhouse and families destroyed,

(iv) the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's (ACCC) dairy inquiry report was handed down in April 2018, and found that an increase in the fresh milk price in supermarkets would not benefit dairy farmers, only the processors,

(v) none of the eight recommendations in the ACCC's report have been implemented by the Federal Government,

(vi) there is an immediate need to deal with the imbalance in bargaining power between dairy farmers and processors by legislating to make unfair contracts and, in particular, multi-year contracts (which bind farmers but not processors) unlawful because dairy farmers do not have the means to pursue these unfair contracts through the courts, and

(vii) it is a myth that milk prices are set by market forces because farm-gate prices for milk are set by processors, that are often foreign-owned; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government:

(i) to provide immediate additional financial support to dairy farmers who cannot feed their herds,

(ii to implement all of the ACCC recommendations, and

(iii to regulate the price of milk per litre paid by processors to dairy farmers to ensure a viable dairy industry.