Wagga Wagga-based Nationals MLC Wes Fang has welcomed the findings of the Legislative Council report into the sustainability of the dairy industry in NSW.
“I was pleased to participate in this Inquiry as for too long, our dairy farmers have not been receiving their fair share,” Mr Fang said. “Due to the short timeframe of the Inquiry, there is more work for us to do but I will be pushing to re-establish this Inquiry in 2019. If the Nationals are returned to Government in 2019, we will look at driving new reforms to help level the playing field for dairy farmers.”
The committee found that the retail price of $1 per litre of milk has removed considerable value from the value chain to the detriment of NSW dairy farmers.
The committee also concluded that there is a considerable power imbalance between the dairy farmers and processors and that the current farmgate price for raw milk is inadequate to cover cost of production and allow for a reasonable profit margin.
“I have raised these issues directly with Niall Blair, Minister for Primary Industries, and I understand he will be meeting with dairy farmers along the North Coast next week to get a better understanding of the range of issues,” Mr Fang said. “He will meet a large group in Lismore, visit Norco and farmers in Coffs Harbour as well.”
The Government will deliver its response to the report at the end of February.
“This is an important step in making the dairy sector more equitable and I look forward to working with the industry towards a solution,” Mr Fang said.