People power needed to help Scenic Rim dairy farmers survive

SUPPORT: Kay Tommerup said the QDO petition is a real way for people power to save the day. Photo: Larraine Sathicq

SUPPORT: Kay Tommerup said the QDO petition is a real way for people power to save the day. Photo: Larraine Sathicq

DAIRY farmers are counting on consumers to show the might of people power by signing a petition that will see them earn an extra 10c for every litre of milk they produce.

Kerry dairy farmer Kay Tommerup said it was heartening that the community was now more aware about the effects of drought and willing to lend a hand to struggling farmers.

She said signing the petition would be a good way to let the supermarkets know we stand behind the dairy farmers.

“It is more and more difficult to source quality feed for cows with this drought,” Ms Tommerup said.

“Unlike beef cows, which can be held with lower quality feed until the drought breaks, dairy cows need quality feed.

“I don’t think a few cents will make much difference to people buying milk but it will make a big difference to dairy farmers.”

The QDO said the increasing scarcity and the price of freighting in fodder has hit the Queensland and New South Wales dairy industries hardest.

The national campaign launched by the QDO today asked everyday Australians to sign an online petition urging supermarkets to increase the price of milk by 10 cents/litre and for processors like Parmalat, Norco and Lion to guarantee that the full 10 cents goes back to the farmers.

QDO reached out to Kyogle dairy farmer, Shane Hickey, whose social media post on being paid $2.46 per hour went viral with over 4 million views and countless shares, to help drive awareness for the campaign.

 QDO President Brian Tessmann said Mr Hickey had hit the nail on the head with his first viral video.

“People now get just how underpaid our farmers are and have shown that they want to do something to help,” he said.

“While Shane is not a Queenslander, he shares our sense of injustice and our drive to turn around the dairy industry and make things happen.

“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.”

Mr Hickey said that production on his farm was down 50 per cent on last year.

“Water is quickly disappearing and it’s looking rough. I”m looking rough,” he said.

“So thanks Coles and Woolies, $2.46 an hour, you pay your staff more than that, you pay anyone more than that.

“That’s all I got and I’m expected to pay a mortgage and take care of my three kids and survive.

Mr Tessmann said the QDO was calling on fellow Australians to drive change by signing and sharing the petition. 

“Shane has taken to social media again to support of the 10 cent/litre Drought Levy petition and urges all Australians to get behind the campaign,” he said.

The petition can be found on by searching 10 cent Drought Levy or via this link.