MEDIA RELEASE: Rennick calls out One Nation for grandstanding on milk
LNP Senator for Queensland Gerard Rennick has called out Pauline Hanson’s Private Senators’ Bill as damaging for Queensland dairy farmers.
“Like the Murray-Darling river system, our dairy industry is complex and varies significantly by state. Trying to determine a price for milk that keeps everyone happy will be impossible and only goes to show how out of touch One Nation is”, said Senator Rennick.
The average production cost of milk solids varies significantly by state, from $4.36 per kilogram in Tasmania to $6.63 per kilogram in Queensland. In other words, it is almost 50% more expensive to produce milk in Queensland than it is in Tasmania, or if we look at Victoria, which has around 64% of the national dairy herd, the cost is $4.51 per kilogram. Queensland is going to struggle to compete with the southern states no matter what.
However, processors actually pay more for Queensland milk currently than they do for the other states. Queensland receives $7.84 per kilogram of milk solid while Victoria only receives $5.87 per kilogram of milk solid. Queensland dairy farmers therefore stand to lose the most if a base price is implemented.
Senator Rennick said, “This bill is a classic example of wedge politics in action. One Nation now wants the Government to regulate the price of milk, while they resist the regulation of water flows in the Murry-Darling Basin. Talk about flip flopping. If One Nation don’t like the way government bureaucrats regulate water – what makes them think they will be any better at regulating milk?”
“A base price for milk would not be effective because there are just too many variables, including regional variations in the cost of production. If a base price is set by state or region, the processors will just buy milk from the state with the lowest base price.”
“The Liberal-National Government will give our dairy farmers greater control over their destiny by introducing a mandatory code of conduct which will ensure dairy farmers can fairly negotiate with processors, so they get a fair price for their milk and related dairy products.”
“I don’t want to see a floor price devastate the dairy industry in the same way it devastated the wool industry.”
“We will continue to fight for lower water charges, Australian ownership of water, lower power prices, strong anti-dumping laws and most importantly of all, higher taxes on profits sent offshore by foreign owned companies.”
(Protecting Australian Dairy Bill 2019)