Dairy farmers seek emergency help

The West Australian

Queensland dairy farmers are calling on the winner of the September federal election to take emergency action to save the milk industry.

Queensland Dairyfarmers' Organisation president Brian Tessmann says the milk supply is falling rapidly and there are only 500 dairy farmers left in Queensland, down from 1500 in 1999.

The supermarket milk price war is still hitting farmers hard, he says, and no one is offering any relief.

Mr Tessmann says whichever party wins the federal election must act urgently to save the industry.

"They need to set up a mandatory code of conduct, to change the Competition and Consumer Act and to strengthen collective bargaining for farmers," he told AAP.

"There's no time left, they need to hit the ground running.

"The core part of the industry is being killed off as we speak."

Mr Tessmann warned the problem went beyond Queensland's milk industry.

"If we can't support it in one state, then we can't support it anywhere," he said.

"Australia will be a milk importer, that's where the buck stops."

But he said consumers could still help by buying branded milk in supermarkets, which would ease the pressure of the price war.

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