RAW DEAL: LNP member for Glasshouse Andrew Powell with opposition leader Deb Frecklington and Maleny Dairies co-owner Ross Hopper at Maleny Dairies. Photo: John McCutcheon / Sunshine Coast Daily
RAW DEAL: LNP member for Glasshouse Andrew Powell with opposition leader Deb Frecklington and Maleny Dairies co-owner Ross Hopper at Maleny Dairies. Photo: John McCutcheon / Sunshine Coast Daily

Maleny Dairies ‘utterly betrayed’ in ‘farcical’ decision

THE LNP has launched a parliamentary petition demanding the State Government reverse its decision to snub Maleny Dairies of the Metro North Hospitals supply contract.

LNP leader Deb Frecklington labelled the decision a "disgrace" and a "slap in the face" to the hardworking dairy farmers.

Owner Ross Hopper said Maleny Dairies tendered for the contract to supply Metro North Hospital and Health service in July after being repeatedly encouraged to go for the contract.

He said the two-year contract to supply about 11,000L of milk a week would've been worth about $20,000 a week to his company, which was last week awarded to a Chinese supplier.

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Ms Frecklington said the proud Sunshine Coast business had been "utterly betrayed".

"Annastacia Palaszczuk's 'Buy Queensland Policy' is nothing but a three-word slogan based on false hope," Ms Frecklington said.

"There has been an overwhelming response by Queenslanders who think Maleny Dairies has been dudded.

"Queenslanders won't tolerate being pushed aside for overseas companies."

Glass House MP Andrew Powell said the State Government's suggestion that Maleny Dairies couldn't supply the volume was "farcical".

"They had an eight per cent spike, and would meet it easily," Mr Powell said.

"They're (State Government) clutching at straws after letting a Queensland company down after using them as a posterchild."

He said 10,000 signatures were needed to take the petition to a parliamentary debate in February. It can be found here.

Health Minister Steven Miles has hit back at the LNP's claims, saying Ms Frecklington was "embarrassing" herself.

Mr Miles said the contract would have Pauls buy milk from more than 140 Queensland dairy farmers who were family-owned and operated businesses.

"I'd like to know which of these 140 Queensland farmers Deb Frecklington would take business from? These are family-owned dairies in Darling Downs, Lockyer Valley, Wide Bay, South Burnett, Central Queensland and the Atherton Tableland," Mr Miles said.

"This is all a bit embarrassing for her. She should have remembered the contract to supply dairy across Metro North was awarded to Pauls in 2014 under the LNP government when she was Campbell Newman's assistant treasurer.

"On the Sunshine Coast, the contract was also awarded to Pauls under the LNP.

"The Palaszczuk Government is using government spending to create local jobs. This contract to provide milk to Brisbane hospitals was awarded to a Brisbane-based company and will support jobs in Brisbane and throughout Queensland."



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