Dairy farmer calls for 20c/L levy to help 'break square'

A TOOWOOMBA region dairy farmer has called on supermarkets and milk processors to implement a 20 to 30 cent levy on to the price of milk, to go to farmers.

Boodua farmer Ashley Gamble said the drought was getting worse and worse as the weeks went on.

"We need 30 cents extra a litre just to make ends meet," Mr Gamble said.

"With the current prices of feed and everything else, that's what we need, 20c to 30c a litre extra. We won't even make money, that's just to break square."

"It's ridiculous."

Do you think adding a 20 - 30 cent levy on milk is a good idea?

This poll ended on 17 October 2018.

Current Results

YES

75%

NO

24%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Mr Gamble said he had seen research that suggested most people would be willing to pay a little bit extra for milk.

"People out there want to pay the extra money, let the people have their choice," he said.

"Coles and Woolworths, they can fix the problem. Let the people have the choice if they want to pay it or not."

The Chronicle highlighted how dry Mr Gamble's property was getting back in August when he launched a GoFundMe to help with costs.

"It's ten times worse since then," Mr Gamble said.

"We've got no water. We've had to get it carted in over the last three days as our bores have gone dry.

"We're going to drill a hole (today) to see if we can find any."

Boodua dairy farmer Ashley Gamble fears he will lose everything due to the drought and lack of feed for his dairy cows. Boodua. Drought. August 2018
Boodua dairy farmer Ashley Gamble fears he will lose everything due to the drought and lack of feed for his dairy cows. Boodua. Drought. August 2018 Bev Lacey

Queensland Dairyfarmers Organisation president Brian Tessmann, a dairy farmer from the South Burnett, has called for a 10c/L levy on milk and has launched a petition aimed at all the major supermarkets and milk processors.

"People now get just how underpaid our farmers are and have shown they want to help," Mr Tessmann said.

"For too long, we've hoped for the supermarkets and processors to do the right thing to ensure we have a sustainable dairy industry, but nothing has changed. We're calling on our fellow Australians to drive change by signing a petition."

Processor Parmalat has announced it would add a 10c/litre levy onto its products, which would go to farmers.

Darling Downs farmer and Parmalat supplier Brenden Hayden said it was great news.

"If they're willing to do it, it'll go a long way to help pay some long overdue bills," he said.

"It's going to put pressure on the others to make a move."

NORCO has also suggested it would introduce a levy.