CALLS FOR DAIRY DEREGULATION COMMITTEE TO BE FAST-TRACKED

Dairy Deregulation Committee

CALLS FOR DAIRY DEREGULATION COMMITTEE TO BE FAST-TRACKED

27 February 2001

National Party Member for Lismore Thomas George today called on the Carr Labor Government to immediately fast-track the work of its Dairy Deregulation Impact and Assessment Committee following revelations the report would not be completed until October and not be tabled in Parliament until the end of this year.

Mr George said it was last June that the National/Liberal Coalition forced the Carr Government to establish the committee to investigate the financial impacts of dairy deregulation on farmers and their communities and make recommendations to the Minister for assistance.

"It is unacceptable the Carr Labor Government is dragging its heels on this," he said.

"Dairy farmers need immediate assistance. They cannot wait until the end of the year to find out what the recommendations of the committee area.

"The recent Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) report found NSW was one of the worst affected States under deregulation - farmers have suffered a 29 per cent drop in their average farm-gate milk price.

"It also revealed 200 NSW dairy farms have shut down since deregulation.

"How many other farmers will be forced off their farms before this Government comes to its senses and takes action? What further proof does Mr Carr need?"

Mr George called on Mr Carr to immediately fast-track the work of the committee and urgently act on the recommendations.

"Mr Carr should immediately provide State-based assistance to help farmers cope with the impact of a substantially reduced farm gate price.

"The National Party tried in vain to amend the Carr Government's dairy deregulation legislation to include a State-based Structural Adjustment Price Support Scheme to enable producers to weather the impacts of deregulation," he said

"The Carr Government refused to do so. Dairy farmers cannot wait until the end of the year. It will be too little too late.

"The Carr Government is once again treating dairy farmers with contempt," he said.

Lismore Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403
Email: lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Murwillumbah Contact Details:

Telephone: 02 6672 7577