Monday, 4 December 2017
Questions without Notice
I can, Mr President. I thank Senator McKenzie for that question. We are ensuring that dairy farmers can get access to the raw natural resources they need to build their business. The start of that, of course, means water. You can't have a dairy industry without water. Every year, cows need to eat grass, and to grow that grass we need to have access to water. That is why the Commonwealth government is taking a sensible and balanced approach to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, ensuring that we not only meet the environmental objectives of that plan but also support the economies and social structures of the communities in rural Victoria that need access to water to have an economy and provide those jobs.
Also, I note that the Australian dairy industry has received a major boost with a $335,000 grant under the Australian government's $5 million Leadership in Agricultural Industries Fund. That has helped build the leaders for the next generation in our dairy sector. I'm sure the Commonwealth government will keep supporting this important sector. I thank the senator for her interest in Victoria's dairy industry and will continue to work with her and others in Victoria to build on the strengths of the last year.