DAIRY FARM­ERS

The Chronicle - - Your Say -

IT IS re­ported that there are 386 dairies in Queens­land. They pro­duce on av­er­age 1.1 mil­lion litres each per an­num.

Cur­rently Ash­ley Gam­ble sells his milk to Norco at a re­ported To­tal Av­er­age Mem­ber Re­turn of 58.18 cents per litre. Norco sells some milk to Coles to sup­port the 2011 $1 per litre scam.

If Norco and other dairy man­u­fac­tur­ers paid their pro­duc­ers 10 cents per litre ex­tra that would mean there is an ex­tra $42 mil­lion in grow­ers’ pock­ets each year or $110,000 for each dairy.

Con­sumers should be pay­ing more for dairy prod­ucts and one ac­cepts that in­creased elec­tric­ity costs cour­tesy of the State Gov­ern­ment-owned elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tors makes that dif­fi­cult.

Over the past 20 years State La­bor has watched the num­bers of dairy farms halve. Yet in the first quar­ter this year La­bor in­creased pub­lic ser­vant num­bers, and not front­line staff but of­fice dwellers, by 4300 on an av­er­age salary of at least $90,000 or $387 mil­lion per an­num.

The cost side of Ash­ley Gam­ble’s prob­lem is that stock feed is at­tract­ing record prices as do freight costs.

Is it just pos­si­ble that within the Aus­tralian ru­ral com­mu­nity there are some greedy price gougers tak­ing ad­van­tage of peo­ple like Ash­ley Gam­ble as well as kind-hearted peo­ple do­nat­ing their hard-earned money to do­nate feed?

Will State La­bor in­sist on a drought Royal Com­mis­sion? Will they ex­am­ine why over $2 bil­lion was spent on a de­sali­na­tion plant yet there is no wa­ter for Ash­ley Gam­ble to ir­ri­gate and grow his own feed? When wa­ter was short for in­ner city La­bor Greens no ex­pense was spared.

When it is short for re­gional ar­eas it is so sad, too bad. Build the pipe­line from the Bur­dekin and build more dams La­bor. Sub­sidise wa­ter re­ten­tion in the bush the same as La­bor sub­sidises ur­ban La­bor Green so­lar pan­els in Bris­bane.

Cli­mate change is hap­pen­ing so why isn’t La­bor pro­mot­ing avail­able wa­ter re­place­ment strate­gies to sup­port the wa­ter they are strip­ping away from farm­ers and gra­ziers?

If the Arabs can ir­ri­gate their coun­try why can’t La­bor ir­ri­gate the Dar­ling Downs? They gave Cubby Sta­tion a leg up, why not oth­ers like Ash­ley Gam­ble? No money is prob­a­bly the an­swer.

JOHN FRIEND, Toowoomba

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