DAIRY FUNDING: The Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littlewood, met Bexhill dairy farmers Eileen and Craig Waddell as he and Kevin Hogan MP made an announcement for $480,000 funding for Dairy Australia to look at sustainable farming practices.
DAIRY FUNDING: The Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littlewood, met Bexhill dairy farmers Eileen and Craig Waddell as he and Kevin Hogan MP made an announcement for $480,000 funding for Dairy Australia to look at sustainable farming practices. Alison Paterson

$480,000 project that could be a lifesaver for dairy farmers

LESS than a month after he was booed by the Lismore audience of the ABC's Q&A, Agriculture Minister David Littleproud made a return to the Northern Rivers.

At a media conference with Page MP Kevin Hogan, the minister was asked why he had ignored correspondence from Kyogle dairy farmer Shane Hickey, whose video went viral after he claimed he worked for just $2.49 an hour.

When asked why Mr Hickey had not received a response from the minister's office despite repeated attempts to contact him, Mr Littleproud snapped at the question.

"If he has made formal representation to my office... I will find out if he has, I will find out why he has not been responded to," he said.

"Having said that, I have seen his stuff on social media, (but) would you like me to answer the question or do you want to answer it for me?"

But Mr Littleproud pressed on to announce a new $480,000 funding package for Dairy Australia, aimed at making the industry more sustainable.

He said the funding would help Dairy Australia to deliver the Sustainable Dairy Products project, building an industry-wide data platform.

"The project will include the use of soil moisture technology, vegetation mapping and effluent monitoring," he said.

"It's not just about productivity and profitability but also about environmental outcomes, and the best bang for our back pocket.

"We need to look at look at more sustainable farming practices to become more productive and more sustainable with their techniques and generate best practice."



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