Pollies must deliver on fair go for dairying

By Brian Tessmann, QDO president

It seems that quite a few state and federal politicians remain out of step with community expectations when it comes to addressing the issues affecting dairy farmers in supplying the domestic market. 

Recent media appears to be back on board with the campaign to support dairy farmers in their struggle against a broken market. This manifests in getting rid of $1/L milk, and introducing and passing the ‘effects test’ by empowering consumers through the Queensland ‘Fair Milk Logo’ Bill.

This was particularly evident with the recent visit by Channel Nine’s the Today Show to the McInnes brothers’ farm in Harrisville. Just like the ABC Radio interview with Steve Austin the previous week, the Today Show host Karl Stefanovic was shocked that little had been done by government to help dairy farmers.  

While Karl assured  QDO vice-president Ross McInnes that consumers were behind him and all dairy farmers, it seems that government instead chooses to listen to other more powerful voices.

One particular issue that seemed to shock many, including ABC’s Steve Austin, was that despite all that Queensland dairy farmers have been through, both major parties at state level still refuse to recognise the problem. 

In fact, as Steve Austin said, government continues to refuse to provide consumers necessary information on which brands help local dairy farmers. It is crystal clear to the media that consumers want clarity on how they can make better informed decisions at the supermarket to support Queensland dairy farmers.

It’s time for our Queensland politicians to disregard the flawed logic of the Parliamentary Committee Report and pass something of substance at state level that will actually benefit struggling dairy farmers. It’s time for our federal politicians to listen to farmers and the broader community and show leadership to take on the supermarkets and get rid of $1/L milk.