6 October 2011
Dairy has become a battleground for the carbon tax debate, with Federal Nationals leader Warren Truss saying the industry will be unfairly disadvantaged.
Mr Truss and Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie raised the issue following a tour of Murray Goulburn’s Global Distribution Centre at Port Melbourne this week.
During the visit, the pair held talks with Murray Goulburn’s general manager for industry and government affairs Robert Poole, who told them the proposed carbon tax would affect the co-operative’s operations from the farmgate through transport, storage and manufacturing.
Senator McKenzie said the carbon tax would cost the average dairy farm between $5000 and $7000 each year.
‘‘It will seriously hamper the ability of the nation’s dairy industry to maintain and expand an export industry now worth $2 billion to Australia,’’ she said.
‘‘This super tax will be on Murray Goulburn’s 2700 farming family shareholders through higher energy and transport costs and on milk processing and manufacture of dairy products.’’
Murray Goulburn processes one third of the nation’s milk and directly employs more than 2000 workers at six processing plants in regional Victoria, including Cobram and Rochester , as well as Melbourne and Tasmania.