Un-Australian Day – QDO Cow Pat Awards

By BRIAN TESSMANN, QDO President

Many in dairy farming circles do not see the 26th of January as a day to be remembered with celebration. Rather it is the birthday of one of the most callous and damaging events to scorn the Australian domestic milk market and industry. That was of course the start of the ongoing Coles led retail milk price war and the start of $1 milk on Australia day 2011.

To reflect on this each year QDO delivers awards that are for people or organisations whose actions that are un-Australian and against a fair go for all. Of course the first steaming cow pat award must again go to Coles for continuing promote their $1 milk campaign with a special mention to all the other supermarkets who continue to sell milk at an unsustainable price.

Next is the charter boat cow pat award which must go to all the parliamentarians who still see no problem with the domestic milk market and the huge market power of the supermarket duopoly. These big business/big union lackeys in the Labor and Liberal partieshave, according to what seem reliable government leaks, swallowed the supermarkets propaganda that the much needed ‘effects test’ would prevent all sorts of great things including the release of a new iPhone. This ignores the fact that Australia is one of only two first world economies that do not have the equivalent of an ‘effects test’.

The hypocrisy cow pat award this year goes to the Queensland Government,  for introducing an ethanol mandate which will lead to higher grain prices. By supporting the ethanol industry the government has ignored the impacts on dairy and other intensive grain users. Another cow pat is awarded to the government for continuing to promote solar panels on homes thereby further reducing the efficiency of the electricity grid and pushing up operational costs to the remaining users of the grid. This has already delivered a far higher price even when compared to green powered grids as in California.

Next the Magpie cow pat award which is for those who do not believe in a fair go and consistently go out of their way to attack others. If they even suspect that others may threaten what’s in their nest egg they completely disregard how other may feel on the issue. This year’s magpie award is a shared award between two worthy winners with the same surname. That is of course John and Wallace Gunthorpe. These guys, who as far as I am aware, have no direct connection to the Queensland dairy industry have attacked QDO and me with derogatory remarks and plain insults every time we have raised Queensland’s dairy’s very real concerns around proposed changes to national BJD management. Even more ridiculous was the claims that QDO and dairy were new comers to BJD management and also claimed that we were out of touch with our membership on this issue. A quick look at the history of the BJD dairy score which has been part of dairy for decades along with BJD management and our yearly member survey where 96% of dairy farmers wanted to maintain the current safeguards quickly shows the fallacy of their attacks.

The first thing the Gunthorpes need to do is present to us the survey results outlining the wishes of individual beef producers across the National Beef industry on the issue. Of course there hasn’t been one, which then questions on what authority they can speak on in relation to the beer and dairy industry. Attacks and insults are how these guys operate. People shaking their heads across the east coast dairy industry waiting to see if they come up with some new farfetched claims or even some new insults – so go for your life guys you’re the award winners. I must apologise though to all the magpie lovers as QDO means no insult to that loveable bird.