Dale, Paula, Harry, George and Meg Fortescue run Eungella Dale, one of only two dairies remaining in the Eungella area.
Dale, Paula, Harry, George and Meg Fortescue run Eungella Dale, one of only two dairies remaining in the Eungella area. Contributed

Eungella dairy farmers miss out on 'fair' prices

MACKAY'S dairy farmers have been dealt a blow as hopes of having voluntary fair milk price logos introduced across the state moved even further out of reach.

After several months of reviews, Queensland's Agriculture and Environment Committee on Thursday recommended the government not adopt a Bill which would have advertised which milk brands paid "sustainable” prices to farmers.

Despite acknowledging dairy farmers face "tremendous economic pressures”, the document said the Bill, introduced by Member for Dalrymple Shane Knuth in October last year, "creates more problems than it seeks to resolve”.

Difficulty accessing reliable data, administrative costs and a possible High Court challenge were listed as reasons the Queensland Parliament not pass the Bill.

The recommendations were challenged by Eungella dairy farmer and Port Curtis Co-operative Dairy Association chairman Peter Woodland, who said the committee's decision proved both sides of government "only care about supporting corporates”.

He said there was "more than enough” data to decide on a sustainable price for dairy farmers, and as the program was voluntary, would not be a burden for the industry.

Mr Woodland believed the committee's decision would put further pressure on himself and Eungella Dale, the only other remaining dairy at Eungella.


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