I’m looking forward to watching Four Corners tonight with all the enthusiasm of a patient awaiting the lancing of a boil. Will it be fun? No. Will it be good for me? I guess so.
It’s almost four months since Murray Goulburn called a trading halt, followed by the infamous “clawbacks” of both MG and Fonterra that rocked the dairy community.
In a state of confusion and panic, farmers called out for help. Ordinary Australians did what they could, ditching cheap unbranded milk in a show of solidarity with farmers that continues to hearten.
Four months on, panic has given way to a sense of aimlessness and loss. Helou and Tracy’s vision had offered a shining path towards security and prosperity but now Gary the Great has vanished and nobody has filled the role of white knight. Leadership is lacking at the time we need it most.
We farmers have a fleeting once-in-a-lifetime chance to fix things. Politicians want to know how they can help but we don’t seem to be able to articulate a coherent answer other than to cry for something, anything, to dull the pain.
Meanwhile, there’s a puerile optimism amongst some elites, reckoning that every casualty improves the prospects of the survivors. It’s a sentiment that disgusts me and simply doesn’t stack up.
Floods of milk generated by the powerhouses of Europe, NZ and the USA sink or float the export market – not the farm next door. We’ve already lost thousands of Aussie dairy farmers since deregulation. More of the same won’t solve our problems.
The first step towards a cure is to work out exactly what ails us and, at the moment, all we’re doing is bandaiding a festering sore. If there’s anybody who can sniff out and lance a boil, it’s Four Corners.
That’s why we welcomed Deb Whitmont and her team to our farm. Sure, I’ll be cringing on the couch but Four Corners’ Milked Dry might just reveal the bitter pill we need to swallow.