Media release: Morrison Government fails to deliver election promises to Australia’s dairy farmers

Media release: Morrison Government fails to deliver election promises to Australia’s dairy farmers Main Image

During Parliamentary Question Time yesterday, Minister David Littleproud confirmed that the Morrison Government has failed to deliver election promises it claimed would provide a real time dairy payment system and a trading platform that would give dairy farmers more say over how and when they sell their milk.
Member for Gilmore, Fiona Phillips asked the Prime Minister about his election promise “that the Government would develop a real time dairy payment system to help our farmers get paid faster for their produce”.
The Prime Minister passed the buck to the Agriculture Minister who refused to answer the question about the broken election promise.

Rather, he waffled and said “…along with a market platform and a number of other measures that we’ve asked the Australian Dairy Federation to support. We are working with them around expediting those because when I became agriculture minister again there was a number of measures that we needed to ensure complemented the dairy code of conduct.”
Dairy farmers will be scratching their heads as to what the Minister’s response actually means, particularly since it has been over 12 months since the election promise was made.

On 2 May 2019 Minister Littleproud visited Eden- Monaro dairy farmers and claimed that "Dairy farmers need more flexibility in how they sell milk - a new platform will give them more options, opportunities and flexibility," 
"We want to not only strengthen dairy farmers hand in negotiations with processors, we also want to provide farmers more choice in the way they interact with the milk market to give farmers more market power.
"Dairy farmers currently have limited selling arrangements, basically a supply contract.”

Fast forward to today, dairy farmers remain caught in a cost-price squeeze with costs rising and incomes falling. The Government refuses to address the structural issues in the industry including market power imbalance, said Mr Fitzgibbon.
Low farmgate milk prices, drought, bushfires and COVID-19 have put extreme pressure on our dairy farmers, yet the Morrison Government refuses to ensure our dairy farmers receive a fair farmgate price.