About 500 farmers have attended a sobering, but peaceful crisis meeting at Tongala to discuss issues holding down milk prices.GEOFF ADAMS February 14, 2013 4:04am
The dairy industry faces a pessimistic future unless they can get better milk prices, speakers told a public protest meeting at Tongala yesterday.
The meeting was organised by a new farm lobby group which developed spontaneously out of an emotional protest in a Western District town in January.
Dairy farmers say their milk prices are running below their cost of production and fear they will be forced to leave the industry.
The meeting attracted some colorful conservative politicians including National Party Senator Barnaby Joyce, who accused big supermarkets of exploiting dairy farmers and urged the dairy farmers to stick together with other farm commodity groups.
Senator Joyce said milk was now being sold on supermarket shelves at a price less than bottled water.
Ausbuy representative Lynne Wilkinson told farmers the Australian government had negotiated ‘‘free trade’’ agreements with the US which did not benefit Australia for 15 to 20 years, while cheap imported food flooded into Australia.
She said every major food commodity except rice was controlled by foreign interests, including 75 per cent of the country’s dairy brands.
She said Free Trade Agreements were not free nor in Australia’s interest if it meant growers and processors were competing against foreign government subsidised products.
Most of the crowd had to stand up as seating was limited but they waited quietly during the two and a half hour meeting.
Supermarkets are paying suppliers, including dairy farmers, less because they are in a constant push to increase profits, entrepreneur Dick Smith OAM said.
Mr Smith said the obsession with increased growth and profits was not sustainable and would have consequences for Australians’ way of life.
He told the meeting he was shocked Australia had become a net importer of food.
‘‘It’s globalisation gone made and it’s capitalism gone mad,’’ Mr Smith said
A bushfire at Creightons Creek is continuing to burn, while a fire that started in Stewarton is now under control.
Mulwala’s own motor racing sensation Steve ‘Harro’ Harrison has won the 2014 Victorian Super Tin Tops Championship.
Jody Vincitorio and the boys at JVs Paint and Panel were at it again at this year’s Shepparton Springnats Autofest, taking out a number of awards.
An influx of revellers, including members of the Bandidos Outlaw Motorcycle Gang, were the target of more than 20 extra police who flooded Echuca’s streets at the weekend.
Four people, including a father and his two children, were fined more than $18,000 for their role in an alcohol-fuelled brawl at a Lockington party earlier this year which ended in a teenager beaten up and forced into a dog cage.
New faces for Girgarre FNC
Noel Roberts bought the Telegraph for the first time recently - and it helped solve a 72-year family mystery.
Firefighters were able to save a Finley property's buildings after a large stack of hay bales went up in flames on Monday.
Singing voices were put to the test across the district on the weekend with Carols by Candlelight events in Heathcote and Axedale.
Tragic circumstances for a local family leads to support through community Christmas hamper.
A woman posing as a nurse in a nursing home has been arrestred by Deniliquin Police.
Bungeet farmer, Doug James, lost about 1000 head of sheep in a fire that rapidly burnt through his farm on Tuesday afternoon.
21-yr-old Warrenbayne cricket captain Travis King and his 15-yr-old brother Wade have been selected to play for Victoria in the Imparja Cup.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.