The State Labor Government’s vote to allow a multinational corporation to keep a Queensland Health supply contract hours after it axed 47 workers shows contempt for small local dairy producers and processors.
Member for Gympie Tony Perrett said that the refusal to vote for a review of the decision has exposed the Governments “Buy Queensland” policy as a hypocritical marketing stunt.
The LNP moved a motion in Parliament yesterday to review last month’s decision to award the contract to the French owned Lactalis and Chinese owned Lion instead of the 100% Queensland owned and operated Maleny Dairies. *
Speaking in Parliament Mr Perrett said that companies like Maleny Dairies were willing to pay their farmers a fair and ethical price for their milk. **
“Other small milk processors such as Gympie’s Cooloola Milk also produce a high-quality product and pay their farmers a proper price for their milk,” Mr Perrett said.
“These small enterprises should be encouraged and not undermined by the Government.
“Maleny Dairies was encouraged to apply for the tender under the “Buy Queensland and “Buy Local” policies.
“It is extraordinary that the government would encourage them to be involved just to lead them up the garden path.
“It was disingenuous, and callous.
“It makes sense to support a wholly locally owned company.
“Lactalis announced yesterday it’s closing its Rockhampton milk factory, with 47 jobs to go, and also scaling back production at its South Brisbane site.
“After securing the contract they are cutting and running.
“Awarding the contract to French and Chinese companies is a slap in the face to Queenslanders.
“It runs counter to any policy that is designed to support and grow Queensland jobs.
“Maleny Dairies and Cooloola Milk are prime examples of why we should support and encourage those who value add to our agricultural products.
“We do this by buying and supporting our local producers.
“Instead of selling out Queenslanders and seeing profits go offshore and costing jobs that is what “Buy Local” and “Buy Queensland” should be all about, “ he said.