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Palaszcuk trying to hide his failure to help farmers.

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AFFA01/74WT 3 April 2001

Palaszczuk trying to hide his failure to help farmers

Queensland Primary Industries Minister Henry Palaszczuk is attaching himself to speculation about the dairy industry in order to hide his continuing failure to help Queensland dairy farmers, the Federal Agriculture Minister, Warren Truss, said today.

"Obviously, Mr Palaszczuk and the State Labor Government, do not have a desire to help Queensland farmers — nor do they intend to provide assistance where it's truly needed.

"Instead of offering genuine assistance to dairy farmers, or compensation for removal of the State-based quota system, Mr Palaszczuk has thoughtlessly put forward suggestions of how the Federal Government could provide further funding — on top of the $1.78 billion already being delivered.

"His proposal was rejected completely by his State counterparts at the last Agriculture Ministers meeting because, apart from not providing any State funding, it would not have addressed the issue of particular hardship in some States.

"Mr Palaszczuk’s proposal would have resulted in Queensland consumers funding assistance to Victorian farmers who have not generally been affected by deregulation.

"Mr Palaszczuk claims his so-called plan was designed using the information from the Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics (ABARE) review of the impact of dairy deregulation, but it could not be so.

"He completely ignored the findings of the ABARE report, which identified the failure of States like Queensland and NSW to provide quota compensation as one of the main reasons for hardship in those States.

"As I have outlined previously, the Federal Government is examining how, in the light of the failure of State Governments to provide assistance to farmers most affected by deregulation, what more it can do nationally.

"And Mr Palaszczuk has parrotted his old lie that the Federal Government has reaped a tax windfall for deregulation. He knows that an independent audit has concluded that:

'There is clearly no tax windfall'.

"The Federal Government continues to respond to dairy industry concerns. Labor does nothing!"

Minister's office: Yvonne Best (02) 6277 7520 or 0418 415 772

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Last updated 4 April 2001

URL: Commonwealth of Australia 2000