Govt stands by contract it says supports Wide Bay farmers
THE State Government has hit back at continuing criticism over its rejection of a Mary Valley business for a major government contract.
The LNP is pushing for the State Government to review its decision to award a dairy contract to international companies at the expense of Maleny Dairies, insisting the Valley business could provide a portion of the product required.
But the Government maintains Maleny Dairies could not supply the volume needed for Metro Norths dairy contract “and, more importantly, couldn’t supply all the products to meet the dietary requirements of sick Queenslanders in hospital”.
“The contract was awarded to the company that owns Pauls. Pauls has been a Queensland based company from the very beginning when they opened their first milk factory on the banks of the Brisbane River back in the 1930s,” Health Minister Steven Miles said.
“This contract will see Pauls buy milk from over 140 Queensland dairy farmers. Every single one of them family owned and operated,” he said.
“These are family-owned dairies in Darling Downs, Lockyer Valley, Wide Bay, South Burnett, Central Queensland and the Atherton Tableland.
“I’d like to know which of these 140 Queensland farmers Deb Frecklington would take business from? Would she take business from dairy farmers in her own electorate?
Pauls also employs over 700 Queenslanders in Queensland.”
Mr Miles said Mrs Fecklington and the LNP approved the first Metro North dairy contract to Pauls in 2014 when she was Campbell Newman’s assistant treasurer.
“On the Sunshine Coast, where Maleny Dairies is based, the contract was also awarded to Pauls under the LNP,” he said.
“The Palaszczuk government is using government spending to create local jobs. This contract to provide milk to Brisbane hospitals was awarded to a Brisbane-based company and will support jobs in Brisbane and throughout Queensland.
“The Buy Queensland policy has invested $17 billion with over 32,500 Queensland-located businesses since the introduction of Buy Queensland in September 2017.”