CHLOE Scott’s dad taught her to refrain from getting angry or whingeing and encouraged her to instead generate positive action for change.
The Ballarat Grammar year 11 student’s Change.org petition calling on Argricultural Minister Barnaby Joyce to stick up for farmers, like her dad, captured attention. Chloe spent Wednesday afternoon in talks with Mr Joyce’s office, specifically to detail the plight of Australian dairy farmers facing a heavy pricing cut.
Chloe has grown up in Boorcan, near Camperdown, and is acutely feeling the stress the milk cuts are inflicting on her family even though she is about an hour and a half away boarding in Ballarat. So Chloe took action.
A mention on The Project on Tuesday night has sparked a whirlwind of attention. Chloe’s petition had swelled to more than 101,200 signatures of support by mid-afternoon Wednesday.
Mr Joyce heard her call.
“I feel it’s important to have a voice as part of the future generation,” Chloe said.
“What has happened is wrong, ethically and morally, but instead of complaining (Dad) has always said to decide ‘this is what we need to do’.”
Chloe had hoped her petition might get a few signatures. Her dad had thought she was walking around the schoolyard with a clipboard and piece of paper. But this is so much bigger.
Public response has raised Chloe’s profile and she said the side affect was raising more awareness.
The Scotts have sent cows from their herd to the meat works to help lessen the financial blow. Chloe’s dad started the season promised 55 cents per litre of milk – this has since dropped by more than 40 cents per litre.
”I try and ring Dad when I can to check how he’s doing, checking he’s all right. He loves rowing, so we talk about that a lot,” Chloe said. “In a way, he’s open about how he feels. He doesn’t get angry, he shows how he’s feeling in a calm way.
“Dad’s always been my role model. If ever I need advice, especially before an exam, he tells me to do the best I can and leave it all out there…that’s kind of what he’s doing now.”
Chloe said consumers could make a statement by avoiding generic and home-brand milk – the dollar a litre kind – from large supermarket chains. She said buying branded cheeses and yoghurts showed big business they are both under-valuing milk and under-valuing Australian dairy farmers.
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