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Truss admits division in Coalition on dairy restructuring.

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Media Release

Gavan O’Connor, MP

Member for Corio

Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry


2 September 1999




The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Warren Truss, to day admitted that the Coalition frontbench is divided over how it should respond to Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett’s unilateral decision to deregulate the Victorian dairy industry on 1 July next year.


Shadow Agriculture Minister, Gavan O’Connor, asked Mr Truss:


“Is it a fact that the Leader of the Victorian National Party told a recent ministerial meeting that Victoria will deregulate its dairy industry on 1 July 2000 whether you put in place an adjustment package or not?

Are you aware of comments by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Environment Minister, the Member for Murray, reported in last week’s Herald Sun, calling for a 12 month moratorium on dairy deregulation?

Who is right - the Leader of the Victorian National Party or your Parliamentary colleague, the Liberal Member for Murray?”


In his response, the Minister admitted that at present there is no unity on this issue among members of the government.


It is clear that Mr. Kennett is determined to go ahead with dairy deregulation regardless of the f act that other states, with both Labor and Coalition governments, have decided to continue to maintain their current regulated structures.


The Minister today admitted that Jeff Kennett’s decision will probably force other states to also deregulate at about the same time.


Even though the problem is Jeff Kennett’s creation, the federal government’s hands-off approach to producing a national response has dismayed dairy industry leaders and created great uncertainty among dairy farmers.


Deep divisions within coalition ranks still remain. When the industry needed leadership, the government went AWOL.




Bernie Eades; (02) 62774147 or 0418 518 528




md 1999-09-03  10:01