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Dairy farmers take their case to Canberra.



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Media Release

Bob Baldwin MP

Federal Member for Paterson

4 June 2003

DAIRY FARMERS TAKE THEIR CASE

TO CANBERRA

The Federal Member for Paterson, Bob Baldwin, and dairy farmers from the Dungog area, will take their case of falling milk prices to Canberra on Thursday morning.

“Dairy farmers have been struggling with an enormous drop in milk prices since dairy deregulation,” Mr Baldwin said.

“Many farmers are wondering how long they can survive at current prices and are seriously considering pulling out of the industry altogether.

“But on the other side of the coin you have milk processors and supermarkets who are making large profits out of the labour of dairy farmers.

“It is a situation that is untenable for local farmers and if prices continue to fall, there will be an exodus of dairy farmers from the area.”

“Farmers are getting around 35 cents per litre for milk at the moment and in July, that price will fall to 32 cents per litre. After this, the price is expected to fall to 26.5 cents per litre.

“This is a blatant display of unconscionable contact.”

Mr Baldwin and dairy farmers will be meeting with the Prime Minister’s office in Canberra to discuss their concerns.

“How can milk processors claim that they can’t afford to pay dairy farmers more for their milk, when they were paying farmers almost double the price they are now getting before dairy deregulation?” Mr Baldwin said.

“Farmers have also been struggling with one of the worst droughts in history and despite recent rain in the Hunter region, the development of pastures takes a considerable amount of time.

“There has to be some light at the end of the tunnel for dairy farmers, otherwise there won’t be a local industry left.”