House debates

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Motions

Dairy Industry

9:31 am

Photo of Joel FitzgibbonJoel Fitzgibbon (Hunter, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry) Share this | Hansard source

I seek leave to move the following motion:

That the House:

(1) notes that:

(a) this Government is telling Australians to boycott milk produced by Australia's dairy farmers; and

(b) Australia is now the only country in the world with a Government that is telling consumers to boycott its own nation's produce; and

(2) therefore, condemns this Government for hurting Australian farmers when they are already doing it tough.

Leave not granted.

I move:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent Member for Hunter from moving the following motion forthwith—That the House:

(1) notes that:

(a) this Government is telling Australians to boycott milk produced by Australia's dairy farmers; and

(b) Australia is now the only country in the world with a Government that is telling consumers to boycott its own nation's produce; and

(2) therefore, condemns this Government for hurting Australian farmers when they are already doing it tough.

I'm going to start my contribution with a quote—a quote from no less than the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, in case members missed it. I quote the minister, who said:

I say to every Australian: They can also vote with their feet. They can stick it right up Coles and the big German and not go anywhere near their shops, and go and support retailers that support the dairy industry.

This is a message without precedent in Australian politics, and certainly without precedent in terms of a cabinet minister calling upon Australian consumers to boycott certain retailers—retailers who are, of course, supplied in part by Australian producers and by others in those markets. Yet have we heard an apology from the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources? No. The silence on this issue from that side is deafening.

Make no mistake about it: we will hold them to account. We will spend the next many months visiting all of their electorates, reminding their constituents that yesterday they were given an opportunity to defend their dairy farmers and their constituents, and they passed up that opportunity.

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