CLOSURE: Another dairy farm in the South Burnett has closed their doors. Picture: ANDY ROGERS
CLOSURE: Another dairy farm in the South Burnett has closed their doors. Picture: ANDY ROGERS

Farmer’s plea after another dairy closes in region

THE ongoing drought and drastically low milk prices have claimed another South Burnett dairy farm.

A social media post on Monday, November 25 from Coralea Jersey Stud in Redgate announced their decision to close the dairy and sell off their cattle.

This comes after the government's recent controversial code of conduct draft for the dairy industry.

The reason for the draft, presented by agriculture minister Bridget McKenzie, is to improve contractual arrangements between dairy farmers and their processors.

However, the draft claims milk processors could change contract conditions after they were signed if there are "circumstances beyond the reasonable control" of the processor.

This has caused much concern for dairy farmers.

Another of the region's dairy farmers and former South Burnett councillor Damien Tessmann said it was important they got it right for the farmers.

"All we need is for government to get the settings right," he said.

"A fair price is what people want."

Milk prices are once again a contentious topic after last year's $1-per-litre milk saga.

Mr Tessmann urged the multinational supermarkets to once again raise the price of milk so our dairy farmers could at least begin to break even.

"It should be more like $1.50," he said.

Despite the controversy, the agriculture minister claims the proposed code of conduct would be of benefit for dairy farmers.

Along with the mandatory code of conduct, there are a range of measures in progress to help the dairy industry including:

• $10 million in grants to assist dairy farmers to upgrade or invest in energy efficient equipment to reduce their energy costs

• $8.1 million in additional funding to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's Agriculture Unit; including establishing a dairy specialist

• $3 million in grants to support farmer groups to set up farm cooperatives and other collective business models, and

• $1.5 million to provide dairy farmers with contracting and legal advice including $560,000 to design, develop and test new milk pricing and trading concepts.

Coralea Jersey Stud were attempting to sell off all their cattle in the next two weeks.

Owners Ashley and Leanne Sippel were contacted and did not wish to make comment.