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Burke's silence will kill off Australian pork producers.

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Burke’s Silence Will Kill Off Australian Pork Producers Thursday, 01 May 2008

The productivity commissions report released on the 4th April 2008 on the inquiry into safeguards into the import of pig meat has left Australian pork producers in a precarious position, said Senator Scullion today.

Despite this report being on the desk of the Minister for Agriculture for a month, Mr Burke remains silent while the industry is in real danger of collapsing.

“Australian pork producers are a resilient lot but they need urgent help, said Senator Scullion.

“The Productivity Commission found that it was higher feed and industry input costs and not cheap imports that were threatening the industry and accordingly recommended against safeguard action.

“This ignores the fact that it is the price of imports that sets the price of pork products in the supermarket.

“This is confirmed with the results of a grocery survey conducted by the ABS and published in the Herald Sun Herald 1 May 2008 that shows that the price of pork in the supermarket is one of the very few products that is cheaper now than it was in 2005.

“This may be good news for consumers but it is devastating for producers who are being squeezed between higher input costs and cheap imports, said Senator Scullion.

“Food security is an important issue facing Australians into the future.

“If we want to have a pork industry and guarantee future Australian pork meat availability the Minister must act now and provide assistance to the pork industry immediately before the last farmer is forced out of business" said Senator Scullion.

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