In­dus­try needs more ac­tion and less talk

Gatton Star - - INTO RURAL LIFE - Do­minic El­some do­minic.el­some@gat­ton­star.com.au

DAIRY farm­ers are be­ing urged to have their say in con­sul­ta­tions about the es­tab­lish­ment of a manda­tory code of con­duct for the in­dus­try.

Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter David Lit­tleproud, an­nounc­ing the con­sul­ta­tion process last week, said a code of con­duct was needed to bring change to the in­dus­try.

He said the code would make ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween farm­ers and pro­ces­sors “fairer and more trans­par­ent”.

Claren­don dairy farmer Errol Ger­ber wel­comed the an­nounce­ment of a manda­tory code but said while added trans­parency would be pos­i­tive, re­tail­ers needed to be in­cluded.

“It needs to be from one end (of the in­dus­try) to the other, so that ev­ery­one is in­cluded in the same piece of leg­is­la­tion,” Mr Ger­ber said.

Mr Lit­tleproud said the code would be the first step to­wards im­prov­ing the in­dus­try.

“It’s not a sil­ver bul­let but it’s a good first step. There will be more struc­tural re­form to come,” he said.

Mr Ger­ber agreed a struc­tural re­form was needed, but said the time for talk was over.

“There’s been too many talk-fests go­ing on for a num­ber of years about the in­dus­try, and noth­ing has been hap­pen­ing,” he said.

“The farm­ers and ev­ery­body in the com­mu­nity see what the prob­lem is, but they’re all just talk­ing and fluff­ing around the edges do­ing noth­ing.”

Lock­yer Val­ley and Som­er­set farm­ers can have their say at Si­mon’s Tav­ern in Boonah on Thurs­day, Novem­ber 22, from 10am.

PHOTO: ALI KUCHEL

AC­TION NEEDED: Claren­don dairy farmer Errol Ger­ber says the an­nounce­ment of a manda­tory code of con­duct for the dairy in­dus­try is pos­i­tive, the time for talk is over and real ac­tion is needed.

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