Senator Burston Calls For Increased Farmgate Milk Prices
United Australia Party Senate Leader, Senator Brian Burston, has lodged a notice of motion in the Senate calling for an increase in milk prices of 20 cents per litre. All proceeds from price increases would go directly to drought affected dairy farmers and remain in place until the drought breaks.
Senator Burston said dairy farmers have been hit hard by the drought with feed stock prices increasing by as much as 100%. What makes surviving even more difficult is that hard-working dairy farmers are locked into forward contract milk prices with milk processing companies to the benefit of Coles and Woolworths.
“I’m calling for both Coles and Woolworths to increase retail milk prices and pass the full increase onto dairy farmers. Both Coles and Woolworths have put downward pricing pressures on dairy farmers for many years. This has influenced consumers to both buy and expect specials or discounting as normal in this category, which has damaged the financial resilience of our Australian dairy farmers.
“Our dairy farmers are doing it tough and urgently need this increase in farmgate pricing.
“With locked-in forward milk sales prices made before the drought bit and dramatically increased feed costs of hay and wheat, our dairy farmers are under enormous pressure.
“The United Australia Party firmly believes in recognising the economic pressure on these hard-working people brought on by extreme natural conditions and supply constraints on dairy food stocks.
“What Australia grows, grows Australia,” Senator Burston said.
“Rural Australia needs someone in their corner and a real change. The United Australia Party is sick and tired of major retails putting price pressures on dairy farmers to price loss leaders and make up margins on other products.
“Increased retail pricing on milk will help desperate dairy farmers who have been part of the rural backbone of Australia.
“I’m concerned for our dairy farmers if the retailers don’t act decisively on this necessary action. The time and opportunity is of the essence today.
“The United Australia Party earlier this week also announced its policy on regional tax concessions to grow regional economies and make it easier for people to do business.
“20% less tax can change lives, encourage new investment and rural Australians deserve it,’’ Senator Burston said.