In spite of the traditional State of Origin rivalry between Queensland and New South Wales, dairy farmers from both states have a strong bond.
There are so many similarities in climate, pastures, temperature and biosecurity issues that it’s important to keep an eye on the situation for our southern counterparts.
Shane Hickey of You Tube fame and ironically, the face of QDO’s 10cent/litre Drought Levy campaign, lives in Kyogle – 32km from the Queensland border.
Shane is a regular (and welcome) correspondent with QDO and recently caught up with us to give us the gossip from down south.
Sadly, the predictions are not good. Without rain, up to half dozen farmers from northern NSW will leave the industry by April.
Given the latest Dairy Australia production and QDAS profitability figures released late last year this is disturbing but unsurprising to hear.
On our side of the border dairy farmers are struggling to survive the drought conditions, with many dairy regions seeing a tantalising glimpse of rain but without the windfall.
Late in 2018, QDO said goodbye to several farmers, many located on the Darling Downs which has been badly hit by the ongoing drought.
Regardless of what state or region farms are located, our industry is in crisis.
So it’s even more important than ever that we approach the value chain issues on a national scale.
The meeting of state dairy representatives chaired by the Australian Dairyfarmers Federation late last year was a significant step towards developing a unified national front.
Having key politicians like Federal Agricultural Minister David Littleproud, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormac, LNP’s Shadow Minister for Agriculture Tony Perrett and MP Llew O’Brien publicly support a call for a Royal Commission into the predatory pricing of supermarkets gives a glimmer of hope that change may be possible.
Matthew Trace – Vice President