President’s Message

Sep 22, 2018

President’s Message

Sep 22, 2018

This week KAP’s Shane Knuth moved a motion in Parliament to bring on a 10c a litre milk levy in support of the Queensland Dairy Organisation’s campaign to introduce the levy.

Over 100,000 people have already signed the petition in support of the initiative. The very next day the Labor party voted unanimously not to support the levy.

The dairy industry in Queensland is declining at a rapid rate. In the year 2000 there were 1,500 dairy farmers in Queensland, there are now less than 430.  This is due to both de-regulation of the industry and lack of the major parties stepping up to assist this essential and struggling industry.   We are currently importing milk from New South Wales, Victoria, and even New Zealand as we do not produce enough milk here in Queensland due to low dairy farmer numbers.   If dairy farmer numbers continue declining at this rate, by the year 2030 there may not be one dairy farmer left in Qld.

Currently a Queensland Dairy Farmer makes 0.55c per litre and it costs them $0.58c per litre to produce.   How are we expecting the industry to survive? 

In the last Parliament Shane Knuth introduced the fair price milk logo bill and both the major parties voted against it. Again, this week, when given the opportunity to help the industry they have voted against the 10c a litre levy.  As Shane said,  

“They have a disgraceful record of supporting big business over farmers. The LNP and the Labor Party can’t be trusted to support farmers over big corporations.”

KAP leader and Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter has also thrown his support behind the levy that asked supermarkets to increase the price of milk by 10 cents per litre and that processors guarantee the full amount will go directly back to the farmer.

Mr Katter has long advocated for a better deal for the dairy industry that suffered catastrophic economic and social consequences after deregulation and now faces skyrocketing fodder costs during the drought.

Mr Katter is calling for more action to help the industry and believes the extra 10 cents per litre petition is just the beginning.

Woolworths previously said it will support the levy if Coles comes on board.  Coles have rejected the proposal even after Woolworths has committed.

By Queensland Parliament supporting the 10c a litre levy it would have compelled the supermarkets to get on board.   The fate of Queensland’s dairy industry rests in their hands. 

KAP will never give up the fight to see justice and fairness for Queensland’s struggling dairy industry.  

Shane Paulger
KAP President