Farmers Mark the Politicians

By Brian Tessmann, QDO President

A changing feature in Australian politics over the past couple of years has been decline of major party vote making way for the rise of smaller political parties and independents. This national trend must be viewed alongside the international exodus from the political centre where support for the major political parties and establishment are on the decline.

The surge in support for political parties such as One Nation in Queensland and the Xenophon party in South Australia clearly demonstrates this loss of faith. With a Queensland state election looming on the horizon it’s time for state parliamentarians to get serious about the livelihoods and concerns of voters.  Voters want to throw aside politicians who engage in the political games of George Street in favour of those ready to listen and act.

The numbers don’t lie, voters are fed up with politicians and parties that oppose good policy simply because it was proposed by their opponents or cross benches. A litmus test for this will be the upcoming vote on the Sustainable Queensland Dairy Production Fair Milk Price Logo’s Bill. The Bill will be a chance for state MPs to do something of substance that both benefits the Queensland dairy industry as well as give support to more transparent labelling for consumers to make informed decisions.

All rural voters’, not just dairy farmers, will judge both the ALP and the LNP on how they respond to this Bill.  Particularly attention will be given to whether our MPs will take the opportunity to support the good policy rather than simply rejecting the Bill because it was moved by the Katter Australia Party (KAP); even though the legislation has its origins with the national dairy industry.

This is a call for our major parties to put the petty games aside and back this Bill for the benefit of famers and consumer. A failure to do so will undoubtedly only fuel rural voters discontent with the major parties and the ineffective status quo they represent.