Independent senator Jacqui Lambie has called for a Senate Inquiry into the dairy industry, claiming this is the best way to uncover illegal activity in the sector.
As News.com.au reports, Lambie told parliament on Tuesday that the investigation being carried out by the Australia Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) was a “sly way of covering up wrongdoings” in the industry.
The ACCC inquiry, announced by Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce last week, follows the April decisions of the two major dairy processors, Murray Goulburn and Fonterra, to retrospectively cut the price it pays suppliers for milk. As a result, most dairy farmers involved are in a perilous financial position and many don’t expect to survive.
As The Weekly Times reports, ACCC chairman Rod Sims dismissed the claims that the inquiry will not achieve anything.
“I doubt there’s been anything of this level (in agriculture) before,” he said.
“Murray Goulburn and Fonterra has triggered the fact the Government would like this to be a warts-and-all look.”
The inquiry can, by law, compel companies and people to give evidence and provide documents.