The Liberal-National Government has shown it is not serious about helping dairy farmers struggling on the South Coast.
Member for Gilmore, Fiona Phillips MP is disgusted that yesterday the Nationals deserted dairy farmers by voting down a bill that would have given farmers a fairer price for their milk.
The bill which was defeated by 1 vote, 31 to 30, could have investigated a minimum farm-gate price for milk and ensured the long-promised Dairy Code of Conduct could be quickly adopted.
“I was proud to secure a Labor commitment of a minimum farm-gate milk price at the last election. I know that our local dairy industry is in crisis, experiencing a price-squeeze and suffering through a drought that the government keeps ignoring,” Mrs Phillips said.
“I am absolutely appalled that the government has voted down a bill that could have provided relief for our farmers,”
The Gilmore MP said the government has missed opportunity after opportunity to help local farmers and this is simply more dysfunction and chaos for our dairy industry.
The long-awaited dairy code also continues to be delayed, and there are now fears that the code will not protect family-run dairy farms as promised, creating more uncertainty for local farmers.
This comes after the government last week left the South Coast worse off under its much-hyped drought support package by not including Eurobodalla, Shoalhaven and Kiama councils in the Drought Communities Programme Extension and removing access to round 4 of the Building Regions Fund.
“I grew up on a family-run dairy farm. I understand the challenges facing our local farmers and I am not going to stand by while the Liberal-National Government allows dysfunction and chaos to delay the vital support local farmers need,” Fiona Phillips said.
“I have once again written to the Minister inviting him to meet with local dairy farmers so he can hear their stories firsthand,”
“I also encourage all local farmers to have their say on the draft mandatory code of conduct and I will continue to call on the government to provide the vital support our local dairy industry needs,” she said.