News

Cobb takes Federal Government to task over milk price war

COALITION Agriculture spokesman John Cobb has accused the Federal Government of inaction in addressing the "milk price war" despite promises to deliver changes.

The milk price war started two years ago this Australia Day, when Coles Supermarkets slashed its retail milk price to $1 a litre - a move the Queensland industry said had already led to the loss of 55 dairy farmers.

Last year a Senate inquiry looking into the matter made numerous recommendations to the government to address pricing and other problems between retailers, producers and the processing industry.

Since the inquiry reported in August last year, the government's official response was to accept most of the recommendations in principle, adding it would address the problems.

But in an opinion piece Mr Cobb penned today, he said the Labor Party's inaction had led to further expansions of $1 litre milk - this time into service stations owned by Coles.

"Australia Day marks the second anniversary of the supermarkets' $1-a-litre milk campaign and while supermarkets deserve their share of the blame the saddest part of this campaign is the Labor Government's complicity in the industry's demise," he wrote.

"The supermarkets are marking the anniversary by extending the $1-per-litre milk to their service stations to take market share from the beleaguered corner store and will further erode industry sustainability.

"This is a blatant attempt by the Coles executive to secure their executive bonuses at the expense of industry and, at the same time, finishing off the corner stores."

Mr Cobb wrote that once supermarkets had eliminated competition, prices would rise, leaving farmers with less money to run their own farms and deliver produce, driving primary producers off the land.

But the government, including Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig, consistently has said the problems were being addressed.

To that end, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims has, in recent months, stepped up the regulator's examination of supermarkets, promising to deliver change.

But Mr Cobb wrote that the major supermarkets had already refused attempts by processors to pass on the costs of processing milk, "knowing the industry is up against the wall".

Topics:  agriculture, john cobb, milk price war




PHOTO GALLERY: Race fans enjoy high octane fun at Supercars

Tyler Day, Deegan McNamara, Joshua Day and Michael McNamara at the Coates Hire Ipswich SuperSprint.

Large crowds converge on Queensland Raceway

Lowndes leads way at Ipswich SuperSprint

Race winner Craig Lowndes celebrates in style at Queensland Raceway today.

Supercars champion fires at Qld Raceway

Latest deals and offers

Day 2 Splendour Pictures

Sticky Fingers perform at Splendour in the Grass 2016. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Splendour in the Grass Day 2 covered in pictures.

WATCH: News reader tries her hand at hardcore shooter, Doom

Veteran journo and noob gamer takes a shot at Doom

What's on the small screen this week

MasterChef Australia's final four contestants, from left, Harry Foster, Elena Duggan, Elise Franciskovic and Matt Sinclair.

MASTERCHEF makes way for The Bachelor on Ten's reality TV slate.

Recycling your childhood faves

GHOST GIRL: Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig and Leslie Jones in a scene from Ghostbusters.

Everything that's old is new again

Guy Sebastian a hit at Splendour in the Grass

Guy Sebastian performs at Splendour in the Grass with Paces.

REALITY TV judge a hit with festival crowd.

Superheroes of the big screen enjoy sounds of Splendour

CHRIS Hemsworth and his Avengers mates drop by Byron festival.

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

The climb is slow but property on the way up

Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

The improvement would be mild when compared to past cycles