House debates

Thursday, 21 February 2019


Dairy Industry

10:22 am

Photo of Barnaby JoyceBarnaby Joyce (New England, National Party) Share this | Hansard source

This is an issue that is about consumer law. It's not solved by a floor price, and I will tell you why. Any floor price that is introduced for milk will obviously be assessed by our major trading partners as a government subsidy and, as such, will bring a form of possible default in the record returns that we've had in so many areas of our agricultural industries. Through this term of government, we've had record lamb prices, record mutton prices and record cattle prices. In many areas of the horticultural sector we've had record prices. Wool is at a very, very, very good price. What the Labor Party is doing today is putting all that at risk. So we should say that.

Obviously, at first blush, it is a palatable idea, but the issue that we now have is that you need to actually explain how it is that, after we put in a floor price for milk, we're not going to have, and justifiably so, every other industry coming in to ask for a floor price—a floor price for lamb, a floor price for mutton, a floor price for wool, a floor price for carrots, a floor price for plums. Everything will have a floor price. We will have lobbyists lined up outside the door and, after we're finished with a floor price for them, we'll have a floor price for small businesses in other sectors. Why not? We'll have given them the precursor to it.

They definitely have a huge problem and we definitely have to deal with it. I definitely support access to justice—absolutely. It's something we've been supporting for ages, and we got it. So much for the ineffectual National Party in the last fortnight! We've also—

Mr Katter interjecting

Member for Kennedy, I am empathetic to the core with you, but please listen. We must have something that gives protection to all small businesses. I entirely agree that you need multiple buyers and multiple sellers to have a market—

Mr Katter interjecting

but we have to have a Corporations Act that has the capacity to deal with it.

Mr Katter interjecting


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