A new logo would be put on milk bottles to help consumers identify if it is sourced from a farmer who was paid a fair price, under proposed laws by Katter’s Australian Party.
Shane Knuth said the bill, which will need the support of one of the major parties and crossbenchers, establishes the eligibility criteria and legal protection for the voluntary system.
“Queensland dairy farmers are in a crippling financial crisis,” he said.
“The deterioration climate of the dairy industry is making it crucial to pass legislation that will help keep dairy farmers afloat.
“The fair milk price logo informs consumers where the milk is produced, that farmers were paid a sustainable price for the cost of a litre of milk, and that it’s Queensland’s fresh milk.”
‘No fresh milk by 2028’
Mr Knuth said an average of 50 farmers left the industry each year, going from 1500 to just 430 in 15 years.
If the trend continued there would be no fresh milk produced in the state by 2028, he said.
“Deregulation, natural disasters, and the dollar-a-litre supermarket price wars and unsustainable farm gate prices have slashed the number of Queensland dairy farmers.”
The bill now goes to the Agriculture and Environment Committee for consideration before it is debated by the Parliament.
It is unclear if the KAP bill would be passed, with the government and opposition coy on their intentions.
A government spokesman said Minister Leanne Donaldson would assess the merits of the bill after it was considered by a parliamentary committee.
Opposition’s agriculture spokesman Dale Last said the LNP had a strong record of supporting Queensland farmers.
“We’ll be keen to take a closer look at this legislation as it’s considered by the Parliamentary Committee,” he said.