Senate debates

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Questions without Notice

Dairy Industry

2:25 pm

Photo of Bridget McKenzieBridget McKenzie (Victoria, National Party, Minister for Agriculture) Share this | Hansard source

Mr President, thank you very, very much. Senator, you don't actually understand what the National Party's advocacy, in this area, has been for years. It is in competition policy. It is actually addressing the issues of the dairy industry, which are high energy prices and high fodder costs. They've increased by 50 per cent, thanks to the drought. If you are a dairy farmer in areas that require irrigation, water has increased over 300 per cent in the pricing. So the input costs for our dairy farmers make it incredibly difficult for them to get the margins that they need, which is why our government took a suite of initiatives to the election. One is the mandatory dairy code of conduct to regulate that unconscionable behaviour by some of the processors. It recognises that we've got very unique regions, across Australia, when it comes to dairy. What works in northern Queensland is not going to work in WA and is not going to work in South Australia, and we need a code for all. (Time expired)

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