11 February 2013: KAP Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter today introduced legislation to give

our dairy farmers the right to obtain a fair price for milk.

Mr Katters Dairy Industry (Drinking Milk) Bill 2013 ensures that processors must pay a minimum

price to dairy farmers for drinking milk.

The Bill also gives these farmers who are struggling for survival against the might of the

supermarket oligopoly and free-market obsessed governments the right to collectively bargain.

Mr Katter told the House of Representatives that the deregulation of the dairy industry by the

Federal LNP government in mid-2000 had catastrophic economic and social impacts.

In New South Wales and Queensland the price for fresh milk, within a day of deregulation,

dropped from 59 cents to 42 cents a litre. They lost 17 cents a litre. Consumers paid 40 cents a litre

more, farmers received 17 cents less and someone made $1.04 billion in the process, he said.

There were 21,000 dairy farmers in Australia, and now there are less than 7000. My area had 240,

and the last time I looked at the figures we had 42 left… And one of the towns up there has the

highest suicide rate in Australia.

Mr Katter said one dairy farmer in the Kennedy electorate had advised that he received anywhere

between 28c/L and 45c/L (depending on the protein level) so that it now costs him more to produce

a litre of milk than he could recoup by selling it.

Mr Katter told Parliament that it is not hard to see why distinguished economics academics

believed that dairy deregulation was one of Australias three greatest shames.

I do not blame Woolworths and Coles. They are out there to make a quid and, if they can get away

with paying 42 cents, then why not? he said.

The responsibility lies with government. They should be there to protect the vulnerable; not to

facilitate their exploitation.