Milk price plan sours in Senate
A MINIMUM milk price for farmers and re-regulation of the industry have been rejected after a fiery and emotional debate, sparking Senator Pauline Hanson to call for the Agriculture Minister's resignation.
The One Nation proposal was defeated by one vote in the Senate, despite a surprise alliance between One Nation and Labor.
Senator Hanson goaded Nationals to cross the floor to support her proposal but there were no takers.
She blasted Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie for delays in creating a dairy code of conduct to protect farmers dealing with supermarket giants, as well as for voting against re-regulation, saying she should resign. "(Her) handling of this whole code issue has been diabolical, it's an absolute dog's breakfast," Senator Hanson said.
But Queensland LNP Senator Susan McDonald accused Senator Hanson of offering false hope to dairy farmers with rushed laws still being written hours before the vote.
"I can't support legislation drafted so hastily with unintended consequences ..." Senator McDonald said.
LNP Senator Gerard Rennick said a regulated price caused a crash in the wool industry in the 1990s, and he feared the same would happen in the dairy industry.
Labor's agriculture spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon said the National Party "crumbled to political pressure" from the Liberal Party by not backing the proposal.