July 18, 2011


Australian dairy to be affected by carbon tax
Illawarra dairy farmers will lose thousands of dollars due to immediate outcome of the carbon tax, according to the Australian Dairy Industry Council.


The peak national dairy body's director, Adrian Drury, said on average Australian dairy farmers would pay between AUD5000 (US$5307) and AUD7000 (US$7430) more per year once the pollution tax was introduced.


This would be mostly in higher electricity bills.


Manufacturers could also pass back their own increased costs to dairy farmers, rather than increase prices in the supermarket.


"The government is saying that the average family will not be worse off, but what we are saying is that dairy farming families will be," Drury said.


"We are hoping, as a minimum, that they would develop some rebate scheme for people who are high energy users and have no way of making an offset."


The possible carbon tax impact follows other blows for Illawarra dairy farmers, including National Foods' loss of the lucrative Woolworths own brand milk contract in NSW.


Gerringong dairy farmer Joe Chittick said his biggest problem with the carbon tax was that he did not know who to believe.


"We have been handling pricing changes for years and I guess farmers will adapt, but at the cost of something else," he said.


He was worried a "knock-on effect" would reduce incomes and increase costs for farmers.


Jamberoo dairy farmer Mark Honey was also uncertain.


"We do not know how it is going to hit, except higher charges for diesel fuel, electricity and fertilisers," he said.

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