CORANGAMITE Shire mayor Chris O’Connor says dairy farmers are the backbone of the shire and if they are under financial stress there will be effects on the broader community.
He said dairy farms were the biggest business in the shire and council would lobby for rationalising milk pick-ups.
Corangamite Shire CEO Andrew Mason and Cr O’Connor met with representatives from Dairy Australia and Murray Goulburn last week and discussed the challenges facing the dairy industry.
“I know this council is quite concerned about what is happening in the dairy industry,” Cr O’Connor said.
“We’ve been quite keen to do something along the lines of rationalising milk pick-up and those types of things.
“We’ve spoken to some of the concerned dairy farmers, the UDV with the intention of perhaps trying to make some sort of difference.”
Cr O’Connor said there was no doubt if dairy farmers were under financial stress there would be a ripple affect throughout the community.
“You’ve only got to look at other businesses who are under enormous pressure,” he said.
“If farmers haven’t got money they don’t spend.”
Cr O’Connor said there was a lot of work to do before changes would be made to milk pick-ups, but it was an area where council could work on.
“It’s an area we are involved in and active behind the scenes,” he said. “There would certainly be an advantage.
“It can be a waste of resources when two or three different branded trucks are travelling up the one road.
“From a council point of view there is a limit to what we can do for farmers.”
Cr O’Connor said Murray Goulburn’s general manager of shareholder relations Robert Poole was surprisingly upbeat about the upcoming milk price for next year.
“He thought there certainly should be an up side to it,” he said.
“It was quite a positive meeting.”