Milk price fall to cut $67m from south-west Vic economy – report

The ongoing dairy crisis will cost the economy of Moyne Shire in south west Victoria about $67m, according to a report prepared for the shire’s council.

The ABC reports that the council prepared the report in the wake of the decisions of the major dairy processors, Murray Goulburn and Fonterra to enact clawback provisions in their agreements with dairy farmers and retrospectively cut farmgate milk prices. As a result of the changes, farmers are having to actually pay back money they had already been paid.

“There are 363 dairy farms in Moyne Shire, which is almost 25 per cent of the total number of dairy farmers in western Victoria,” the report read.

“Recent figures projected that a farm gate milk price drop of 15 per cent would result in a $170,000–$200,000 annual loss per farm.

“This loss would cause a $67.155 million direct impact [in] Moyne Shire.”

According to Moyne Shire councillor Ralph Leutton (pictured), the crisis is not just for the farmers. The wider economy is also affected.

“That’s the issue, where people who have debt and owe the local shop money and the local mechanic money and all that, that’s where the flow-on happens into the community,” he told the ABC.

“It’s almost insidious how widespread the impact of these prices and the reduction of these prices are on the economy for our shire.”

Meanwhile, as AAP reports, farmers from NSW can now access the Federal Government’s $500 million dollar industry assistance package.

The assistance, which comes mainly in the form of low interest loans, is now available to dairy farmers Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, and NSW.