Dairy, water and trespassers head election talk

Dairy, water and trespassers head election talk


Irrigation
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Fairness and transparency in water and dairy are key election issues.

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Australian consumers have been called on to ensure big supermarkets expanded the 10 cents a litre return to farm gate to the whole dairy product range - not just milk.

On a visit to central Victoria on today Federal Minister for Agriculture, David Littleproud, said it was time supermarkets stood up and used the mechanisms in place to add all dairy products, including cheese and butter, to the farm gate return.

"If they don't start to act now Australians should start to vote with their feet again and turn their backs on the big supermarkets and go to the small ones that do support the Australian dairy industry," he said.

"You have the power, vote with your feet, shop somewhere else."

With twelve per cent of high security water licences owned by organisations that didn't own land, it was time for a review of water trading, he said

"It's time to review the market mechanism to make sure it's fit for future; that it's within the basin plan in terms of what we are trying to achieve - in triple bottom line," he said.

"And to make sure there are no impurities and give transparency to the market place. Also with brokers and those large institutional investors and what role they play in the market place.

"This is making sure there is equity and transparency in the market place. That's the time when Government's interfere with market places if it is identified that there is a lack of those, and that's why we are going to ask the ACCC to go under the bonnet and have a look."

Mr Littleproud said the first act when returned would be to impose laws that could send the perpetrators of information to trespassers to jail for 12 months and fine them $2 million.

It was time the state governments to stand up, not to negotiate. The perpetrators had a philosophical view that would not change.

He said the states needed to get tough and change the culture of the police forces and the courts.

Mr Littleproud said the government was looking at other market mechanisms, platforms, that would give more power back to dairy farmers to determine where they wanted to sell their products.

He said it was about providing a suite of measures that put the power back into farmer's pockets and get the balance right.

He said the promise by Labor to investigate a pool price was "a cruel hoax". It would be reckless to dairy and all other commodities, stripping away trade agreements in place.

Nationals candidate for the Mallee, Anne Webster, said water was the biggest issue with a range of pressures agriculture and horticulture from the top of the electorate to the bottom.

She said climate change was also an issue and there was a desire for more to be done.

The Nationals took the issue seriously. It had worked with the agricultural sector to improve efficiencies around water management and infrastructure.

"We are really committed to that and we want our local farmers to feel for a hope for the future," she said.

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