Onward and upward in 2017

By Brian Tessmann, QDO President

Fairfax media image.

Fairfax media image.

As they are tasked with keeping fresh milk on retail shelves all year round there would have been little rest over the past few weeks for Queensland’s dairy farmers. Queensland Dairy farmers’ Organisation (QDO) is looking forward to the year of exciting opportunities as well as considerable challenges for the organisation and the industry as a whole.

Our industry will continue its calls for fairer and more sustainable domestic milk and dairy market. We firmly believe that for this to become a reality, the support of government will be vital. While we appreciate the efforts of Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce in getting the ‘effects test’ changes to the Competition Act into parliament, we acknowledge that the reforms still need to pass both houses of parliament. Ensuring these reforms pass will be a QDO priority and look forward to working with the government to deliver this outcome for farmers.

It was reassuring to hear Mr Joyce recently reiterate his position that if supermarkets did not put an end $1 milk, then he would. To date the supermarkets are continuing to thumb their noses at his warning. It was also most disappointing to hear Labor’s Andrew Leigh defending $1 litre milk.

Our state parliamentarians too need to play in helping dairy farmers by supporting the Sustainable Milk Price (Fair Milk Logos) Bill which will go to a vote in state parliament in the next few months. This bill is about empowering the consumer through information so they can make the decision at the checkout to support our farmers.

 

There are other major state issues that require further government attentionaround biosecurity particularly Bovine Johnes Disease and Cattle Tick Management and Eradication. These are both major issues for the dairy industry that QDO will continue represent. It is essential that government get the right balance that delivers on farm protection and not burdensome over regulation. For its part QDO will continue to develop its industry services to assist farmersmanage biosecurity threats that had previously been managed and delivered by government.