Gilroy: Government out of touch with dairy farmers

Filed in Just In by May 20, 2021

THE Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party has called out the government for siding with the Animal Justice Party to amend and remove paragraphs in the final report on the dairy industry that outlines a lack of action from the Government since the last inquiry in 2018.

Sue Gilroy, Upper Hunter candidate for the Shooters Fishers Farmers (SFF) party, said the Nationals removed the main recommendation and committee comments showing support of the Animal Justice Party, regarding the independence of the NSW Fresh Milk and Dairy Advocate.

President of Dairy Connect, Graham Forbes met with members of The Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party’s Upper Hunter candidate Sue Gilroy and MLC & Dairy Industry Committee Chair Mark Banasiak, in Faulkland near Gloucester this morning to call out the lies, cover-ups and hypocrisy of the NSW Nationals party off the back of last week’s parliamentary inquiry into the dairy industry.

This was a topic put forward to the Upper Hunter candidates last week at the NSW Farmers Meet the candidate forum with the National response being contradictory to actions in Parliament just a day after.

The Nationals removed the main recommendation and committee comments showing support of the Animal Justice Party, regarding the independence of the NSW Fresh Milk and Dairy Advocate.

“They removed the paragraphs late last week. The dairy industry has been let down so many times for so long. We had thousands of dairy farms in the past and we are down to 92. NSW is going backward because the Nationals no longer stand for farmers or the agriculture industry,” Ms Gilroy said.

Ms Gilroy said the role of the NSW Fresh Milk and Dairy Advocate needs to be replaced with an NSW Commissioner for Dairy to ensure independence in the position and the ability to influence legislative change.

“We just met with Graham Forbes from Dairy Connect and I’m hearing the farmer’s perspective directly. It’s like the Nationals don’t understand or haven’t been exposed to farming life. I understand it because I’ve lived through droughts and lived a regional life,” she said.

Last Thursday, an NSW Upper House committee tabled a report looking into the long-term sustainability of the dairy industry in NSW. Committee Chair and Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party MLC, Mark Banasiak, accuses the Nationals of siding with the Animal Justice Party to amend and remove paragraphs in the final report on the dairy industry that outlines a lack of action from Government since the last inquiry in 2018.

The Nationals removed the main recommendation and committee comments showing support of the Animal Justice Party, regarding the independence of the NSW Fresh Milk and Dairy Advocate, according to the SFF.

“I think they’ve lost touch and don’t really understand the challenges people face day to day. There’s a need to sit down and listen to the farmers, talk to these people.” Ms Gilroy said.

“We really need to have that independent statutory officer who can act on their behalf so the farmers know they have someone they can trust and take hard action on their behalf,” she said.

“The government also needs to be held to account for other eight recommendations that have been taken down and either replace what’s been removed or scrutinise it closely to see how else they can meet the needs of the dairy farmer and not the needs of the government.”

For more information on where candidates stand: Voting 101: Upper Hunter by-election.

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