The idea of a floor price for milk has been slammed bt the LNP.
The idea of a floor price for milk has been slammed bt the LNP.

'It's a cynical vote grab': LNP blasts Labor's dairy pitch

LABOR'S budget reply pitch to "better support our dairy farmers" has been slammed by the Wide Bay and Maranoa candidates as a "cynical attempt to grab votes".

Federal LNP members Llew O'Brien and David Littleproud have taken the ALP to task over their efforts this year, which includes a failed motion to explore policy for creating a floor price for milk.

Mr O'Brien questioned Labor's sudden interest in joining the dairy fight given their disinterest in helping in the battle to end $1 milk.

 

Milking the cows at Maleny Dairies.
Dairy farm. Greg Miller

"If they were genuine about changing the dairy industry they would have come and seen me as a backbencher and said 'Llew will you support us on this with the numbers like they are?'" he said.

"Others have done it - but not a peep."

"This is not going to do the dairy industry any good. It just sends them back into another inquiry.

"I think it's a disgrace how they're playing with the dairy industry."

Incumbent Agriculture Minister David Littleproud, visiting the region on Thursday, slammed Labor's idea of a floor price as a "cruel hoax".

 

Dairy farm, cows, cattle, rural

Photo:  Bev Lacey / The Chronicle
Dairy cows. Bev Lacey

"They're not promising a floor price," Mr Littleproud said.

"What they're promising is an investigation or review into a floor price."

And it was an idea, he said, that would squeeze the dairy industry badly.

Mr Littleproud said one must look no further than the wool industry's reserve price scheme.

"If you set a floor price it will destroy the dairy industry because it sets an artificial price above what processors are prepared to pay," he said.

 

David Littleproud MP in Toowoomba. Friday, 15th feb, 2019.
David Littleproud. Nev Madsen

"Then you've got an oversupply.

"There won't be a stockpile for dairy, there'll be a tipping room.

"It's a perishable product.

"You'll see dairy farmers tipping milk out straight away."

Wide Bay Labor candidate Jason Scanes and ex-shadow agriculture minister Joel Fitzgibbon were contacted for comment, but no response was received by time of print.