New hope for milk producers in Mary

DAIRY farmers hope the Queensland industry will be revived by mining magnate Gina Rinehart's plan to build a multi-million dollar dairy operation in the Mary Valley.

Over the past two decades, dairy farmers in Queensland have faced an uphill battle with deregulation of milk prices, drought and floods forcing many producers to leave the industry.

John Cochrane has always been a dairy farmer but almost lost everything when the former Queensland government resumed his land in the Mary Valley for the failed Traveston dam project.

"To wake up one morning and find your whole business and dream is going to go underwater was very hard," Mr Cochrane told ABC news.

The dam proposal sank, but dairying fortunes had too.

"Since the deregulation of the dairy industry, we've had outside sources take control of the market and we've lost 70% of our people," Mr Cochrane said.

But that could change if Ms Rinehart and her Chinese business partners build a multi-million-dollar milk processing factory in the region.


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