Draft dairy code "failing on many fronts" says Lyne MP Dr David Gillespie

Dr Gillespie has labelled the draft dairy code as "vague and ambiguous". Photo: Laura Polson
Dr Gillespie has labelled the draft dairy code as "vague and ambiguous". Photo: Laura Polson

Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie has launched a withering attack on the draft dairy code of conduct.

The mandatory dairy code of conduct for the dairy industry was attempting to balance the market power between dairy farmers and processors and improve farmers' bargaining power.

But Dr Gillespie isn't happy with it.

He has labelled it "vague and ambiguous" and "failing on many fronts".

"We need to level the playing field for dairy farmers in their negotiations with processors," he said.

"Otherwise we will be left with a situation where a dairy producer is stuck with one processor for a couple of years.

"There is no transparency.

"We want to have the regulations to have trading with multiple processors possible and that needs specific clauses."

Dr Gillespie says he has had a productive meeting with the deputy leader of the Nationals and Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie about his concerns.

Dr Gillespie had previously questioned Ms McKenzie's position as deputy leader.

"The leadership has the support of the party but we need our leadership to stand up for these issues," Dr Gillespie said.

"As party members we rely on the executive to get our arguments across at a cabinet level."

Dr Gillespie spoke to the Port News from India where he is travelling with the Environment and Energy Committee investigating the country's nuclear energy program.

"We are trying to learn how a country like India has managed to get cheap power to lift their people out of poverty," he said.

Graham Forbes from the NSW dairy farmer lobby group Dairy Connect praised Dr Gillespie's intervention in the debate over the dairy code.

"We are concerned farmers have no rights under contractual arrangements and all the risk is being put onto the farmer," he said.

"Take it or leave it arrangements, and some farmers are totally disadvantaged into long-term contracts because they don't have an opportunity to negotiate anything else.

"The mandatory code was supposed to come into place to reduce the power of the processors and put the farmers on a level playing field.

"We don't believe the current changes that were made to the previous code would do that."