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Thursday, 13 September 2018
Page: 6320

Senator ANNING (Queensland) (12:14): I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator ANNING: Katter's Australian Party will, of course, be supporting this motion. Any action that helps the dairy industry has our full support. The dairy industry in Australia has been gutted in recent years as a result of deregulation, which has simply stolen wealth from farmers and handed it to giant transnational corporations. The motion is entirely correct in saying that this has led to a gross imbalance in bargaining power between farmers and those to whom they sell their products. The only solution to the crisis facing the dairy industry is to return to a statutory marketing board that allows farmers to collectively bargain on the sale of their products. Just as employees have the right to join a union to collectively bargain on the sale of their labour, farmers need to be given the right to form organisations such as co-ops to collectively bargain on the sale of their goods. The only long-term cure for the problem facing the dairy industry is legislation to allow us to return to orderly marketing.