14th February 2019
Temporary 10-cent-litre milk levy for farmers
The Nationals Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie has called for a temporary 10-cent-a-litre milk levy to be locked in for the next 12-months while structural reforms establishing a more viable supply chain in the dairy industry are developed.
Dr Gillespie said the major supermarket chains, processors and dairy farmer groups should implement the temporary levy, otherwise he will move to introduce a Private Member’s Bill to take immediate action.
“There should be a temporary levy across all milk lines. If they fail to take action, I will introduce a Private Member’s Bill which will seek to introduce the temporary levy along with other measures on the milk processors and the major supermarkets to increase transparency and deliver increased returns to dairy farmers,” Dr Gillespie said.
“Of the top three supermarket chains, Woolworths has been ahead of Coles and Aldi in terms of implementing measures to address the viability of the dairy supply chain, however, it is simply not enough, Dr Gillespie said.
“There are measures I have been discussing with the Agriculture Minister to fix some of the obvious transparency issues, together with potential measures to improve certainty and greater investment in the dairy industry.”
“There is action being taken now, and I thank my colleague David Littleproud for his engagement with the industry and pressing ahead with new measures, but these will take time to work through. Dairy farmers can no longer wait, and that is why I am seeking to provide immediate confidence and certainty for producers,” Dr Gillespie said.
“My electorate supplies a significant amount of milk to the New South Wales milk market and my dairy farmers need help if they are to remain viable now and into the future.
“If we don’t have a supply framework that delivers certainty, then many farmers will continue to leave the industry and we won’t have a dairy industry.”
Dr Gillespie said he would invite representatives of the major supermarkets and processors to discuss the matter and seek their support for the 12-month levy across all milk products.
“If satisfactory measures are not taken very soon, I reserve my right to introduce a Private Member’s Bill to resolve this issue,” Dr Gillespie said.