Parliament rejects fair milk price bill

Knuth slams government over rejection of Fair Milk Price Bill

The Katter Party's bid to have a logo on milk to inform consumers the milk they’re purchasing pays a dairy farmer a fair and sustainable price has been quashed.

The Katter Party's bid to have a logo on milk to inform consumers the milk they’re purchasing pays a dairy farmer a fair and sustainable price has been quashed.

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A parliamentary committee has shut down attempts by a MP to help Queensland's dairy industry.

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KAP’s Member for Dalrymple Shane Knuth has slammed a parliamentary committee’s recommendation not to pass the KAP’s Fair Milk Price Logos Bill.

Under Mr Knuth’s Sustainable Queensland Dairy Production (Fair Milk Price Logos) Bill 2016, a logo would inform consumers the milk they’re purchasing pays a dairy farmer a fair and sustainable price, providing much needed support for Queensland’s dying dairy industry.

The bill creates a voluntary scheme, where a milk processor can choose to place a logo on a milk container identifying where the milk is produced and whether the dairy farmers are paid a fair price.

The bill also creates a mechanism for determining what a ‘fair price’ is.

This means consumers can walk into their local corner store knowing the milk that has the logo has been produced in the region and their local farmers are paid a fair price for producing that milk.

Mr Knuth said Queensland’s dairy industry was dying a slow and painful death, and the government and the LNP are suggesting to do nothing to save it.

“The committee recommendations are absolutely flawed,” Mr Knuth said.

“It fails to take into consideration the submissions provided by the Queensland Dairy Organisation and dairy farmers.

“The committee has used a number of excuses to recommend not passing the bill, including not having any faith in its own Queensland Dairy accounting scheme, funded by the Department of Agriculture.

“The committee also suggests that the bill may and could trigger court intervention. I challenge the committee - who is going to challenge the constitutional validity of a voluntary scheme that could save the dairy industry.

Over the last 15 years, in Queensland we have lost on average 70 dairy farmers a year.”

In the year 2000, Queensland had 1500 dairy farmers, and there are now just 430.

KAP Member for Mount Isa, Robbie Katter, said it was appalling that this was the second time constructive solutions put forward by Mr Knuth had been shut down by the committee.

“The committee is calling for action, yet when a solution is proposed, successive Governments have preferred not to act and would apparently rather see the industry decline,” Mr Katter said. 

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