Dairy reps speak out against bill rejection
DISMISSAL of the Fair Milk Price Logo Bill by Queensland Parliament’s Agricultural committee has dairy farmers up in arms.
On April 13, the committee issued its recommendation to dismiss the bill, arguing such a proposal would be difficult to implement and impact competition from interstate producers.
Queensland Dairyfarmers Organisation President Brian Tessmann said the committee were looking for excuses not to pass the bill.
“The claim the logos would be in breach of section 92 of the constitution, the section that guarantees free trade between states, was an exaggeration of the highest order,” Mr Tessmann said.
“The Fair Milk Logo Bill would assist in identifying local product, not restrict or impose any tariffs.”
In the committee foreword, Chairman Joe Kelly said smaller farmers could use milk labelling as a marketing advantage without the need for legislation.
Mr Tessmann took issue with the argument that legislated logos would be seen as an example of restricting trade.
“The committee’s rejection of the Fair Mark Logo Bill is the equivalent of questioning the merits behind the ‘Made in Australia’ logo because it would discriminate against imported goods.”
With this piece of state legislation seemingly finished, and news of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission taking action against Australia’s largest milk processor Murray Goulburn over allegations of misleading farmers over price forecasts, dairy farmers on the ground are caught in the middle.
North Burnett Regional Councillor and dairy farmer Robbie Radel said farmers would have to continue rallying against these setbacks.
“Most of us are generational farmers and will continue to keep fighting the fight,” Cr Radel said.
“I don’t know if there’s a lot we can do except to keep knocking on doors and supporting the politicians who are prepared to have a go for regional Queensland.”
NO GO LOGO: The dismissal of the dairy logo bill will see dairy farmers continue to battle.