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Dairy farmers sold out

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Shadow Minister for Primary Industry, Mr Hunt, said this afternoon

the dairy farmers of Australia had been sold out through one of the

most cynical and disgraceful political stunts ever played on any

sector of the Australian community. '

Mr Hunt said the Victorian dairy farmers were apparently conned by Mr

Cain or Mr Kerin, or both, only two days before the recent State


"Mr Kerin has rejected out of hand two years of effort by the

Australian dairy industry to produce a national dairy plan to

rationalise the industry. This was a co-operative, self-help

scheme involving a transfer of resources to the manufacturing

milk producers, mostly in Victoria, from the liquid milk sector.

"Instead, the plan announced today will cut production by more than

20 per cent by 1990, rather than the gradual fall of about lOpc

envisaged under the modified ADIC plan.

"The Kerin plan will drive thousands of dairy farmers and their

families out of business and result in the loss of thousands of

jobs in the industry.

"The Minister has apparently ignored the fact that there has already

been substantial adjustment in the dairy industry, with the number

of producers having fallen from 49,000 to 19,700 in the last 20 years.

"No other sector of rural industry in Australia has rationalised

its operations more than the dairy industry.

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Inquiries: (06 2) 73 2 2 93 /72 7419


"It should be noted in this context that the farmers of Australia

are among the least protected people in the Australian community.

The level of effective protection has fallen from 28 to 8pc in

recent years while effective protection for manufacturing has

fallen from 36 to 25pc. .

"The Kerin plan will divide the industry, undermine market stability

and lead to an interstate milk war collapsing milk market systems in

the States.

"The Hawke Government's plan is a virtual declaration of war upon

farmers generally. Not only has the sugar industry been hoodwinked

by pre-election promises, the dairying industry has now been dumped.

"It is also significant that the farmers' cost-price summit this

month collapsed because of an arrogant refusal on the part of the

Hawke Government to accept the IAC figures used by the National

Farmers' Federation to establish the costs of tariff protection

being borne by the farming community," Mr Hunt said.


22 March 1985