STATE Government Minister Mark Furner visited the Tablelands last week to listen to the community’s dairy industry concerns.
“On behalf of the Tableland’s dairy farmers, we thank Mark Furner MP, Queensland’s Minister for Agriculture,” TRC Mayor Joe Paronella said.
“We appreciate that dairy farmers, industry representatives and chambers of commerce had the opportunity to present their first-hand account of the crisis our farmers are in, and the devastation that will be inflicted on our towns should the local industry collapse.”
Minister Furner confirmed he would seek to discuss the dairy crisis with other state agriculture ministers and the Federal Minister for Agriculture, Senator Bridget McKenzie, at a meeting next week in Moree.
“There’s no doubt that this is a major problem, and our government will be working tirelessly to ensure dairy farmers receive a fair price for their milk,” he said.
“We’re committed to fighting for our dairy farmers and we need to realise the enormous positive impact they have on our communities.”
Mayor Paronella said the TRC wish Queensland Minister Mark Furner Godspeed with these discussions, as without unilateral support by the state and federal politicians to tackle this issue head on, I fear the consequences.
“Plenty of people are talking about this crisis and we urgently need for this talk to translate into direct action, with a fair price being delivered to farmers for the quality product they produce,” Mayor Paronella said.
“It is gut wrenching to know that the heart and soul of our farming community and towns is being treated with contempt by Coles and Woolworths.
“All we ask is that the retailers sell milk at an appropriate price at the checkouts and that a fair share of the increased cost of milk be passed back to farmers to cover their cost of production.
“We are confident that consumers are prepared to pay a higher price for milk if they know that more dollars are going to farmers and not to the bottom line of the supermarket giants.
“We encourage all Queenslanders to send a very clear message to Coles and Woolworths by supporting Senator Susan McDonald’s Fair Go For Dairy Farmers campaign.”