The Tasmanian Greens today described the tripartite move to establish a Tasmanian Parliamentary Committee Inquiry into the Tasmanian Dairy Industry as a victory for Tasmanian farmers, and an opportunity for the dairy farming community to discuss contentious issues such as the apparent move by National Foods’ to break the farmers’ collective bargaining group.

Greens Primary Industries spokesperson Kim Booth MP congratulated the Labor and Liberal parties for supporting the call for a Parliamentary inquiry, and for placing the best interests of the dairying community above politics.

Mr Booth also pointed out that he is a member of the Environment, Resources and Development (ERD) Committee that will be conducting the Committee Inquiry, and said that he was hopeful that the Committee will be able to report in a timely manner on this urgent issue.

“The dispute between dairy farmers and National Foods is a serious issues for the entire Tasmanian dairy industry, and this Parliamentary Inquiry will give the community an opportunity to discuss some of the serious issues associated with the current dispute, such as the apparent move by National Foods to break the dairy farmers’ collective bargaining group and pick off farmers on an individual basis,” said Mr Booth.

“The manner in which all three parties compromised and worked together to set up this inquiry was quite inspiring, and a lesson on how power-sharing Parliaments can work together to achieve good outcomes.”

“The Greens will be participating in this Inquiry and are very hopeful that it will provide answers to a number of contentious issues surrounding the dispute between National Foods and Tasmanian dairy farmers,” said Mr Booth.

Text of Motion passed unanimously by Parliament yesterday, 19 November 2009:

That the following matter be referred to the Standing Committee on Environment, Resources and Development for investigation and report:

The state of the Tasmanian dairy industry, with particular reference to:—

(1) The economic and social effect National Foods Limited’s milk price offer will have on dairy farmers and the community at large.

(2) Any other matters concerning the Tasmanian dairy industry.

(3) Any matters incidental thereto.

And that the committee report by 19 December 2009, provided that: –

(1) Should both Houses be not sitting when the Committee has completed its inquiry into the Tasmanian Dairy Industry, the Committee may present its report to either Madam President or Mr Speaker, who are authorised to give directions for its circulation and printing.

(2) This resolution authorises the circulation of the report as if it had been tabled in either House.
Kim Booth MP Greens Primary Industries spokesperson