Katter will push for milk levy next week

Traeger MP Robbie Katter is calling for a vote in Queensland parliament to introduce a 10 cent a litre milk levy.
Traeger MP Robbie Katter is calling for a vote in Queensland parliament to introduce a 10 cent a litre milk levy.

Milk could cost an extra 10 cents a litre to help drought-hit dairy farmers. 

Traeger MP Robbie Katter is calling for a vote in Queensland parliament to introduce a 10 cent a litre milk levy.

Mr Katter will move a motion in parliament this week tthat calls for the introduction of the levy put forward by the Queensland Dairy Farmers Organisation (QDO).

“We want to see this 10c/litre levy supported by all the major supermarkets so we need to put pressure on them until they get on board,’’ Mr Katter said.

“The best way to do that is to throw the full weight of the parliament behind it and that requires Labor and the LNP supporting our motion.”

Woolworths previously said it will support the levy if Coles comes on board.

Coles has said they will not participate.

“For Coles to come out and reject the proposal after Woolworths has committed, speaks volumes about their level of concern for Australian dairy farmers,’’ Mr Katter said.

“If the Parliament supports the 10c/litre levy that should compel the supermarkets to get on board.”

The Queensland Dairy Organisation begun an online petition to have the levy imposed through the major supermarkets late last month. 

More than 10,000 people had signed the change.org petition seven days after it was established by the QDO to help farmers cope with the soaring cost of grain and fodder for milking cows.

The QDO said they were inspired to establish the campaign following a recent viral video from Kyogle dairy farmer Shane Hickey in which he outlined his struggles.

"Shane hit the nail on the head with his first viral video," QDO president Brian Tessmann said in a statement.

"People now get just how underpaid our farmers are and have shown that they want to do something to help."

The petitions calls on Coles and Woolworths to collect the levy by increasing prices and for milk processors to guarantee to pass the full amount back to farmers.

Both supermarkets quoted an ACCC report following an inquiry into the dairy sector, released in May, which found there was no link between prices paid to farmers by processors and the amount charged for private label milk in their stores.

Woolworths says it has raised more than $7 million for Rural Aid to assist farmers, while Coles said it had contributed almost $11 million in donations and grants.