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20    Primary Industries— Dairy industry

The Leader of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation (Senator Hanson), pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 1049—That the Senate—

               (a)       notes that:

                                     (i)       the dairy industry in Australia was de-regulated in 2000, and since that time milk production has fallen from 12 billion litres a year to 9.5 billion litres a year, while the population has increased from 19 million to 25 million people,

                                    (ii)       the number of dairy farms has declined in Queensland from around 1500 to about 380,

                                  (iii)       Queensland dairy herds are now in immediate danger through a failure of the winter and summer seasonal crops, and the shortage of quality feed means it is likely that whole herds will be sent to the slaughterhouse and families destroyed,

                                  (iv)       the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) dairy inquiry report was handed down in April 2018, and found that an increase in the fresh milk price in supermarkets would not benefit dairy farmers, only the processors,

                                   (v)       none of the eight recommendations in the ACCC’s report have been implemented by the Federal Government,

                                  (vi)       there is an immediate need to deal with the imbalance in bargaining power between dairy farmers and processors by legislating to make unfair contracts and, in particular, multi-year contracts (which bind farmers but not processors) unlawful because dairy farmers do not have the means to pursue these unfair contracts through the courts, and

                                (vii)       it is a myth that milk prices are set by market forces because farm-gate prices for milk are set by processors that are often foreign-owned; and

               (b)       calls on the Federal Government to:

                                     (i)       provide immediate additional financial support to dairy farmers who cannot feed their herds,

                                    (ii)       implement all of the ACCC recommendations, and

                                  (iii)       regulate the price of milk per litre paid by processors to dairy farmers to ensure a viable dairy industry.

Statements by leave : The Assistant Minister for International Development and the Pacific (Senator Ruston) and Senators Anning, Chisholm and Rice, by leave, made statements relating to the motion.

Question put.

The Senate divided—

AYES, 13

Senators—

Anning

Hanson*

Patrick

Steele-John

Di Natale

Hanson-Young

Rice

Waters

Faruqi

McKim

Siewert

Whish-Wilson

Griff

 

 

 

NOES, 35

Senators—

Bernardi

Gallacher

McCarthy

Scullion

Bilyk

Hinch

McKenzie

Seselja

Brockman

Hume

Moore

Singh

Bushby

Keneally

O’Neill

Smith, David

Chisholm

Ketter

Paterson

Smith, Dean

Collins

Leyonhjelm

Pratt

Stoker

Dodson

Lines

Reynolds

Storer

Duniam

Marshall

Ruston

Urquhart*

Fierravanti-Wells

Martin

Ryan

 

* Tellers

Question negatived.