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Queensland prisoners to get nearby milk right after MP complains about imports

By Isobel Roe and Isabella Higgins

Updated December 12, 2015 16:40:08

Joe Bradley Photo: Joe Bradley has been a dairy farmer for more than 40 years. (ABC News: Isabella Higgins)

4 Queensland prisons have banned imported milk after a complaint from Katter’s Australian Party MP Shane Knuth.

Mr Knuth said he was horrified to discover that since August, the Queensland Corrections division has been buying imported UHT milk from New Zealand for prisoners in Lotus Glen, Townsville, Wolston and Brisbane correctional centres.

The Dalrymple MP mentioned it had taken away company from the state’s struggling dairy farmers.

“You just can’t make decision like this to say ‘OK we’ll save a handful of cents but we’ll give a kick in the guts to the market that surrounds it’,” he stated.

He took the concern to new Corrections Minister Bill Byrne earlier this week.

A spokesman for Mr Byrne stated the minister instantly banned the use of long-life milk in favour of the nearby item.

Orders for fresh milk have already been made.

‘It sends the appropriate message’

Joe Bradley, who has been a dairy farmer for 40 years, stated the Government’s move to use local create in prisons fills farmers like him with hope.

“People just do not realise how fortunate they are to have food that is developed in a clean, green way here in Australia,” he said.

“Farmers are price-takers and we are obtaining our guts ripped out … we require support.”

Queensland Dairy Farmers Organisation chief executive Adrian Peake welcomed the Minister’s announcement but wanted “to get the message by way of all of government they should usually be supporting neighborhood farmers”.

“It is truly important that the Government supports the nearby industry due to the fact our farmers have been through a actually challenging time, with the supermarket value wars, and that is been unrelenting, so any assistance is welcome,” he said.

Topics: dairy-production, livestock, rural, qld, brisbane-4000, townsville-4810

1st posted December 12, 2015 15:44:37

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