The advertisement goes, "Down, Down, the prices are down" a great cry for the consumer dollars to shop at the supermarket of choice. Now of course we see that local consumers are losing their jobs. The consumers I talk of are the employees of Fonterra. Two years ago it was Murray Goulburn. Week after week we hear of the stresses on local dairy farmers and that dairyfarmers are leaving the industry. The parasitism by the supermarket controllers and buyers is now coming home to roost. Supermarkets buy discounted cheese products, milk powder from a heavily subsidised European industry or a New Zealand discount provider. They pass whatever then can achieve from an international market to consumers. That can be seen as a fine objective.
The consumers see the bargains - whether as a result of European taxpayer subsidy. The supermarkets use the price to push down any potential for margins to generate profit. That profit is what farmers, the dairy companies, the distributors pay their bills and employees with. In the case of Coles, Woolworths, Aldi and IGA pursuance of lower milk prices, lower cheese, yoghurt or any other dairy product. Locally there have been huge losses in employment in the dairy sector, whether directly to farmers or rationalisation by dairy companies. Congratulations to the managers of supermarkets on your achievements, but you really do remove the capability of consumers locally to buy when they lose their jobs.
John Renyard, Timboon
It is typical blindness that "one of the big two" claims election victory. Bill's mob now a minor party and the others with barely a majority. So many 'voted for someone else' and only second or third choice preferences gave a decision. Both think only 'social issues' and new roads matter. Canberra is unaware of the consequences of foreign ownership and the exodus of manufacturing. Warrnambool will lose Dennington and Portland awaits the closure of its aluminium plant. Colac and the closure of the Cororooke dairy factory. Problems everywhere. Sixty percent of children leave school to a long term of unemployment. Housing so uncontrolled a working man struggles. Many mortgages are impossible without both parents working and many suburban schools now have 'Breakfast Clubs'. Mum and Dad long gone before the kids get up and they probably will not see each other again until well into the evening. Foreign purchase of agricultural land year by year. 'They' were hesitant to let 'A Socialist Regime' buy Kidman land but were happy to see the miners daughter buy it for them. Dairying was deregulated. There are only 6500 dairy farmers, and struggling, left in all Australia while the supermarkets imported $1.6 billion of dairy products last year. At least someone in Canberra had a victory.
Gary Ryan, Colac
It's time the truck industry started paying its fair share to use regional roads. And it's time local government and state MPs expedited the introduction of a user pays scheme to cover spiralling maintenance costs that taxpayers have to bear. Trials of such a scheme were due to start this year, 10 years after it was first suggested. Green Triangle operators are using rural roads on an expanding basis rather than risk scrutiny on the Princes Highway and are happy with a cosy status quo. Local government waits with its hand out. The scheme is stuck inside the federal government. Mr Tehan needs to act now.
Frances Thompson, Nelson
Bring back '60s
Re Father Brendan Lee's 'An aggressive minority must not hold sway' (The Standard, May 29). So Father Lee - part of a persecuted majority...... riven by a lack of comradery and loyalty yet elected to government.. Carefully I tip toe around my bedroom avoiding the reds under my bed, deciding if I'm very very bad or plain horrible. I stay strong knowing most are on my side..... Meanwhile those terribly bad young things waste their time and us taxpayers resources with their lefty protesting. Bring back the 60s I say. Never saw protesters in the good ol' days.
Peter Mills, Warrnambool
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