At long last the dairy firms that have buckled under the pressure of industry deregulation since July of this year are to receive government assistance. Despite assurances from the federal government that deregulation would not cause the retail price of milk to fall to an unsustainable level, supermarket price wars sparked by Woolworth’s meant that they did just that, and over fifty New South Wales dairy farms went bankrupt as a result.

Yesterday (17 October) the Australian Government responded to farmers’ protests and allocated A$800,000 for areas around Hunter, Bega, northern New England and the Manning River, which have been most adversely affected. The money, provided by the Dairy Regional Assistance Program, will see the creation of five projects designed to create jobs and provide business, financial and social benefits to the dairy industry.