Why have you betrayed me so cruelly?
You came to me in September with promises of fatherly love and affection. You described me as your pillar and that, after mining’s bloom had faded, I would be your everlasting rose. You said you needed me and that, without me, you would forever be insecure.
But now that my fate lays in your hands, you act swiftly to hasten the courtship of WCB by Saputo whilst locking me in the cellar, dressed in rags. I implore you to at least allow me to attend the ball so that I may win the hand of my beloved.
Your faithful Milkmaid
Okay, I never really fell for you, Joe, but here it is:
- Before the election, you described agriculture as one of the five pillars of the economy and said that food security was important. I’ll hold you to that.
- For Australia to have a dairy sector, it must be able to compete with the international goliaths. That means we need a big processor with scale.
- Australia’s dairy farmers are sticking together and want to grow so we can be more resilient. We absolutely have to because we don’t have the subsidies, FTAs, cheap labour or government support enjoyed by most of our competitors.
- Our 100% Australian farmer-owned cooperative exists to maximise farm gate prices and consolidation rather than competition is what’s needed. We are prepared to step up to the plate and invest in our futures.
- You gave the giant, privately-owned, foreign Saputo a huge leg-up with swift clearance, declaring Australia “open for business” with a grin on your face.
- Don’t hide behind the ACCC or the slow-as-a-snail tribunal. Where there’s a political will, there’s a way. Your Kiwi counterparts knew that doesn’t make sense and cast their equivalent aside to allow the much-admired Fonterra to take shape.
To pin us to such a protracted process while ushering though our foreign competitor is to drive a stake through the heart of the co-op’s bid.
You surely understand the irony of thwarting MG’s bid based on competition policy when it is Australian farmers themselves desperate to become more competitive who are driving this bid and, in turn, are being rendered non-competitive in this fight to keep WCB Australian-owned by you, our own government!
- You are the biggest impediment to Australian farming families taking a greater stake in our own futures by keeping WCB Australian owned.
- If you insist on holding us back, you will be remembered as the man who sold Australia’s dairy farmers down the river. And for what? The love of Lino?
Joe, it’s time you stepped out of the way and gave us a fair go.