Pollies must provide practical solutions

Our politicians have listened and now need to work towards a common goal

Agribusiness
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The LNP must help find a way to guarantee a sustainable and fair farmgate price.

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Last week I travelled with QDO executive officer Eric Danzi to Canberra, to discuss the numerous activities being undertaken by federal politicians to assist Australia's dairy industry.

It was an intense two days of back-to-back meetings with more than a dozen federal politicians.

As to be expected, the hottest topic for discussion was the Exposure Draft of the Mandatory Code of Conduct and the discrepancies to what we had expected from consultations earlier this year.

Without a doubt the code needs considerable redrafting to ensure that it's protecting the needs of our farmers. Most importantly, the disparity between the contract period and fixed pricing period needs to be remedied and we need the section regarding exclusivity clauses to be removed from all contracts between processors and farmers.

I was pleased to hear Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie indicate that she would review all the feedback that had come in response to this latest draft and, given that some of the concerns raised were warranted, would revise the code accordingly. In addition, the Ms McKenzie and other key LNP figures committed to resolving dairy farmgate and retail pricing problems once and for all.

It really doesn't matter what side of politics you come from; the way our parliamentary system works, means we need Labor, the LNP and the independents to back our industry with viable, practical solutions.

I'd like to thank Labor and crossbenchers like Senator Pauline Hanson for the initiatives they have brought to the table. They have ensured that Australia's dairy crisis remains in the media spotlight and that all potential options are seriously considered.

Now it is up to the LNP, as the governing party, to take on board farmers' feedback and help find a way to guarantee a sustainable and fair farmgate price. They have made commitments to do so and have the power to deliver and if they do dairy farmers will be very grateful.

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