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Ag Ministers Should Unite

May 11, 2016


I began the day with a delicious breakfast at Albert's in Euroa with my sister and niece, and then had a good chat with Lyn and Marc at the Euroa Community Hub.

I then headed off to Nathalia to pick up the corflute election signs I ordered last week, they turned out really well! At the start of the campaign I decided that I would try to spread my printing/advertising spend as widely as possible across the electorate - so far I've bought business cards from Euroa Printers, flyers from Officeworks in Shepparton and these signs from Nathalia Printers.

I then went and picked up a small portable table from the variety store in Numurkah, followed by a visit to the Shepparton News offices for a meeting with James from their advertising team.

As I drove around, the main topic being covered on ABC Radio was the current Milk Price issue involving Murray Goulburn and Fonterra. It seems that both the current Agriculture Minister and Shadow Agriculture Minister have no intention of meeting with milk producers in our region, instead visiting those in the south west of the state. They also seem content to sit back and wait for the industry to decide what kind of package they want or need.

Consultation is important for medium and long term planning, their ability to do a lot is hampered by the government being in caretaker mode, but surely Barnaby Joyce and Joel Fitzgibbon can meet and agree to provide some short term relief?

During the GFC, the government implemented the bank deposit guarantee. Whilst the nation's savings aren't all tied up in dairy, many communities rely on the industry to survive. The major parties could at least commit to taking care of the debt that the farmers incurred due to the price change? Even if they were to offer interest free loans, I'm sure it would have a hugely beneficial impact on stress levels, mental health and the immediate viability of milk producers.

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