Parliament Agriculture Dairy Farming ACCC Inquiry Milk

Investigation into dairy industry announced

A new inquiry into the Australian dairy industry will help improve transparency and fairness for Gippsland dairy farmers, according to The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien.

Mr O’Brien welcomed the inquiry, announced by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Barnaby Joyce in Melbourne this week, saying it would get to the bottom of the current crisis affecting suppliers in Gippsland.

“This inquiry, led by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), will closely examine all aspects of the industry to try and ensure that the current situation is not repeated,” Mr O’Brien said.

“I know dairy farmers in the area are doing it tough and I commend my Nationals colleagues, Mr Joyce and Member for Gippsland Darren Chester, for establishing this important and necessary review.”

Mr O’Brien said the inquiry was separate to a current ACCC investigation examining whether milk companies acted unfairly when they slashed prices earlier this year.

“The inquiry will look at contract provisions that have enabled this current ‘clawback’, that is hurting all of our local suppliers, to occur,” Mr O’Brien said.

“It will also look at the issues around the impact of local and international milk prices on profitability and examine competition and bargaining matters.”

Mr O’Brien said the new investigation would get underway in November, and is expected to report back to government in the second half of 2017.

Further information including its terms of reference will be made available at shortly.

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