Skyrocketing electricity prices have hit dairy producers and processors
This week in Parliament, the Nationals Member for Northern Victoria Luke O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change to explain the rise in energy prices that has heavily impacted dairy processors and dairy farmers.
Mr O’Sullivan invited the minister to meet with himself and representatives from the United Dairy Farmers of Victoria to give those in the dairy industry the opportunity for their energy concerns to be heard.
“Dairy processors in this state are being hit by additional costs of about $170 million per annum in terms of their electricity prices.
“This is putting extra costs back on the dairy farmers in terms of them receiving a lower price for their milk. They are paying about one cent a litre extra, which does not sound like much, but that is starting to equate to about a $15 000 increase per year per dairy farmer.
“Also the dairy farmers themselves are experiencing higher power bills to run their own dairy operations on their farms, and we are seeing something like an $18 000 to $19 000 on average increase for electricity bills for dairy farmers over the last three years.” Mr O’Sullivan said.
Mr O’Sullivan stated that if this continues, milk and dairy production in Victoria may become no longer viable, leading to the need to import products from overseas due to the extremely high costs of both producing and processing dairy products.
“We want to ensure that we remain a country that is able to produce clean food that is of a high standard to feed our own people.
“As well as that, we also want to be in a position where we can export the balance of the food that we grow to other parts of the world so they can have the same access to the clean green food that we produce here.” Mr O’Sullivan said.
“The minister needs to meet with the dairy industry to hear their concerns firsthand.
“Energy prices have not just been sneaking up but rising very quickly in the last few years, and that is really starting to have an enormous impact not only on dairy farmers but a whole range of food producers who have a vital role in growing and producing the food that everyone in this chamber, in this city, in this state and in this country eats.”