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Democrats urge 'NO' vote in dairy ballot.



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Media Release

Senator John Woodley  

Senator for Queensland 

Australian Democrats spokesperson for Agriculture

3/12/99

Democrats urge ‘NO’ vote in dairy ballot

Democrats Rural Spokesman, Senator John Woodley, will complete a regional tour this week calli ng on dairy farmers to vote ‘NO’ in the upcoming Victorian plebiscite on dairy deregulation.

Senator Woodley is travelling through New South Wales and Victoria in the lead up to the ballot to explain the report of the Senate inquiry into the proposed deregulation of the dairy industry.

The report found no evidence of benefit to farmers or consumers from the shake-up.

Senator Woodley said: "Under deregulation farmers will lose and there is no benefit to consumers.

"It is basically the transfer of millions of dollars from farmers’ pockets to those of the supermarkets and milk processors."

The Senate Report warns that the social and regional impacts of deregulation will be severe and calls for detailed consideration of structural adjustment assistance.

Senator Woodley said deregulation was meant to benefit Australian dairy farmers through increased access to export markets but World Trade Organisation proceedings in Seattle this week had shown how corrupt the world market was.

"We heard how the European Trade Commissioner told the WTO that the European Union has no intention of reducing agricultural subsidies, no matter how much Australia or other members of the Cairns Group bleat about it," Senator Woodley said.

"Trade liberalisation and economic rationalisation are moving too fast and decimating rural communities in their wake.

"That’s why Victorian dairy farmers should do their sums, consult their consciences and vote "NO" to dairy deregulation."

 

 

jy  1999-12-16  11:06