Open let­ter to MPs

Central and North Burnett Times - - OPINION YOUR SAY -

WHILE I am not privy to the ins and outs of the Queens­land Gov­ern­ment pro­cure­ment poli­cies, I do know that there were sev­eral cri­te­ria that had to be sat­is­fied and that the re­cent de­ci­sion to award the Metro North Hospi­tal and Health Ser­vices con­tract to Lac­talis and Lion would not have been made lightly.

As politi­cians you would be fully aware of the com­plex­ity of the ten­der­ing process and know that many facts have been ig­nored for the sake of sen­sa­tion­al­is­ing a story. The Aus­tralian dairy in­dus­try is hurt­ing. When you com­bine the im­pact of re­cent nat­u­ral dis­as­ters – both fire and drought, ris­ing costs of pro­duc­tion and un­sus­tain­able pric­ing through the value chain, you be­gin to ap­pre­ci­ate the pres­sure our farm­ers are fac­ing.

As the pres­i­dent of the Queens­land Dairy­farm­ers’ Or­gan­i­sa­tion, I can say with con­fi­dence that the farm­ers we rep­re­sent are fed up with hav­ing the dairy in­dus­try treated like a po­lit­i­cal foot­ball over this is­sue. Two-thirds of our mem­bers sup­ply ei­ther to Lac­talis or Lion Dairy and Drinks. While both are in­ter­na­tion­ally owned these pro­ces­sors are vi­tally im­por­tant to the Queens­land dairy in­dus­try, Queens­land jobs and the Queens­land econ­omy.

I am a proud Lac­talis sup­plier and have been for well over 20 years. The com­pany that is now Lac­talis Aus­tralia started in Queens­land many decades ago and con­tin­ues to trade un­der the orig­i­nal Pauls brand; a brand known and loved for gen­er­a­tions.

Please, I ask you all to stop sen­sa­tion­al­is­ing a story that, though dis­ap­point­ing to a Queens­land small busi­ness, should have got two lines of com­men­tary back when the ten­der was awarded in De­cem­ber last year.

Brian Tess­mann, Queens­land dairy farmer, Lac­talis sup­plier,

QDO pres­i­dent

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