AUSTRALIA - Following milk price cuts from Murray Goulburn, Fonterra and Lion, Australian Shadow Agriculture Minister Joel Fitzgibbon has attacked Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce over his response.
“Always keen to illegitimately claim credit when commodities prices are rising, Barnaby Joyce's silence is deafening whenever and wherever they are falling,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.
“The Deputy Prime Minister fiddles while the dairy industry suffers. It’s an insult to hard working dairy families.”
Mr Fitzgibbon was supported by Victoria’s Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford who said now, more than ever, it was time for the dairy industry to unite.
"Barnaby Joyce's inaction for the dairy sector speaks volumes about his disinterest in Victorian agriculture. We have thousands of farmers really hurting and the silence from Canberra is deafening,” Minister Pulford said.
“Our first priority is to help farmers control the things they can and to make sure they have access to the support they need – whether that be one-to-one financial advice or crucial mental health support.”
Mr Fitzgibbon said that at a time when Barnaby Joyce should be giving dairy farming families hope, he has instead let them down by condoning the actions of Murray Goulburn through his silence and inaction.
“At the very least Barnaby Joyce should have sought some contrition from the Murray Goulburn Board, and demanded the Board establish a path to restoring confidence in its capacity to deliver on their mandate,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.
“If that means a new Board, so be it.”
Mr Joyce has reportedly been in contact with farmer organisations and the Victorian government about the dairy situation, and urged farmers worried about the legality of price cuts to contact competition authorities.
TheCattleSite News Desk