THE shadow agriculture minister told a crowd of 150 dairy farmers last night in Warrnambool he didn't have a "silver bullet" for the industry.John Cobb addressed the crowd at last night as part of a joint United Dairyfarmers' of Victoria and Farmer Power meeting.
He said he understood the farmers' situation but it "wasn't just dairy doing it tough" and the country's finances must be fixed first.
"If we take government there is not going to be a lot of money to throw around," he said.
Mr Cobb also committed to return to the region early next year if he becomes agriculture minister at the September election.
Empathising with crowd, he said there were some things a Coalition Government could do to relieve costs for farmers.
"We've committed to get rid of the carbon tax as soon as we can legislate to do so, it is the biggest impost government has ever put on industry," he said.
"We are committed to review the trade practices act, what is now called competition and consumer law."
He also said the Coalition would look to implement a tracing system for all agriculture movements where information would be stored with the government.
The current ABARE statistics were not as thorough as a system that recorded all movements of every agriculture product in Australia which could be drawn upon if an industry was questioned about its product.
He also said a Coalition Government would remove green and red tape.
Asked by a Woolsthorpe dairy farmer what the Liberal/National Government could do for trade agreements, Mr Cobb said those industries in trouble in Australia were those that didn't have another outlet, such as export, for product.
Local federal member Dan Tehan stepped in to answer the question and told the crowd there were three agreements that could be signed with China, Korea and Japan that would assist trade, however, the current government was reluctant to sign them as it could open them to legal action.
Mr Cobb also said it was "fanciful" to think that an industry that deregulated itself would be reregulated by government without the support of the entire industry.
Tim Lenehan from Nullawarre told Mr Cobb the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission must investigate the anti-competitive nature of milk processor loyalty payments.
These payments are held from farmers until after the season finishes and often are not paid if they change processors.
A Camperdown farmer suggested a 55 cent a litre surcharge of fresh white milk that would deliver an extra 20 cents a litre to each farmer.
Australian Dairy Farmers president Noel Campbell said he took a seven point plan to state government that included a cash injection and "you know what reaction" we got.
Mr Campbell said 55c a litre would only add 2.7c a litre to each farmers' production.