Layoffs not expected for QLD milk

SACKINGS delivered to 300 workers at Australia's largest dairy firm were not expected to be echoed at operations across the state.

The Queensland Dairyfarmers Organisation has shrugged off concerns that actions taken by Victoria's Murray Goulburn co-operative could be repeated elsewhere.

President Brian Tessman said that producer - which is responsible for Devondale cheese and Liddells milk - was particularly hit by export challenges, something not faced by other states.

Because Queensland milk producers do not export, a fall in world prices is bad news because it often creates a fall in local prices.

But Mr Tessman there "was a disconnect" between both markets.

"It does work differently but a drop in world prices is bad news for everyone," he said.

Queensland producers in particular had been brutalised by supermarket price wars, he said, so they were still vulnerable, but only to the domestic supply and demand.

Murray-Goulburn announced it would cut workers in an effort to become more competitive, slashing its total workforce by about 12%.

The Victorian branch of the National Union of Workers wants Murray Goulburn to ensure voluntary redundancies and options for redeployment are available.

NUW Victorian branch secretary Tim Kennedy said these job cuts come as a shock to workers and their families.

"Unfortunately these latest job losses come on top of a long list in Victorian industries," he said.

"It means these workers have gone from secure full-time jobs to joining the queue of people now facing insecure causal work."

Murray Goulburn managing director Gary Helou said the cuts would save the business $100 million this year.

Topics:  international competitiveness, job cuts, murray goulburn dairy group, nuw, queensland dairyfarmers' organisation, unemployment



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