Hanson urges Nats to put aside differences with One Nation
ONE Nation leader Pauline Hanson has written to every National Party MP and Senator in the Australian parliament, urging them to put aside their differences with the One Nation party for the sake of supporting struggling dairy farmers.
The letter asks the National Party parliamentarians to follow the lead of Labor, which has announced it will support Senator Hanson's Protecting Australian Dairy Bill 2019.
"Labor has today announced its support to pass the Dairy Bill and I am calling on you to put aside your internal and external differences with One Nation and unite with me to pass this Bill for the sake of Australian dairy farmers," Senator Hanson wrote in the letter.
"This may require you to cross the floor.
"Dairy farmers have been leaving the industry since it was deregulated in 2000. At that time the population of Australia was around 19 million people and the dairy industry produced close to 12 billion litres of fresh milk a year.
"Nearly 20 years later Australia's population is more than 25 million and milk production has fallen to 8.8 billion litres a year.
"We are in real danger of losing access to fresh milk and becoming reliant on milk powder imported from another country."
The letter comes at a time when the National Party, which is traditionally the party of the bush and farmer, has reportedly been in disarray. There have also been news reports of anger within the party due to Senator Hanson's success in securing a key code of conduct for dairy farmers and milk processors.
Senator Hanson last week secured the support of Labor and the Greens to win a Senate Inquiry into the dairy industry, despite Liberals and National senators voting against the proposal.
Senator Hanson's letter reminded the Nationals that the purpose of the Bill was to improve the viability of the dairy industry by tasking the ACCC
- to establish a minimum farm price for milk,
- to legislate a mandatory code of conduct for the relationship between farmers and milk processors, and
- to make a referral for investigation of the industry by the Productivity Commission.
Senator Hanson clarified that she is prepared to advise the National Party further if needed.
"My open door policy should give you the confidence to speak with me should you need any further information," Senator Hanson wrote.