MOO MONEY: Our diary industry could be revived with Gina Rinehart's new plan to establish a large scale dairy operation in the South Burnett.
MOO MONEY: Our diary industry could be revived with Gina Rinehart's new plan to establish a large scale dairy operation in the South Burnett. Kelly McIlvenny

Slowing dairy flow to keep money in Queensland

HOPE Dairies is determined to stem the flow of dairy cattle being sold into the southern states.

The announcement Gina Rinehart will invest $500 million in one of Australia's largest dairy operations has invigorated the South Burnett's dairy industry.

But the project details are yet to be revealed and the questions are mounting.

To produce the proposed 150 million litres of milk each year for export to China, Hope Dairies will need about 10,000 cows.

Hope Dairies' Jason Morrison said the project was still in the design stage, but confirmed the company would be looking to source the herd from Queensland in stages.

"There are many dairy cows still being sold to southern states and we will try to reduce that flow," Mr Morrison said.

But third generation Silverleaf dairy farmer Bevan Rattey said there were not enough dairy cattle left in Queensland to meet that demand.

"Many of the herds have been leaving Queensland because of the weather," Mr Rattey said.

"There's just not enough cattle unless they will be bringing them up from Victoria."

With just 26 dairy farmers left in the South Burnett and 460 across the state, Queensland Dairy Farmers Organisation president Brian Tessmann shared Mr Rattey's concerns.

"If we got under way quickly, we could supply the numbers they need within the next two to three years."

South Burnett

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