11 Mar 2009

'Dirty dairy' penalities don't go far enough - council

1:31 pm on 11 March 2009

Manawatu-Wanganui Regional Council is less than impressed by plans by Fonterra to penalise dairy farmers who break the rules around discharging effluent.

From the 2010 season: farmers who receive enforcement notices from regional councils for effluent breaches will have $1500 deducted from their milk payout. Those who are prosecuted will be fined $3000.

Council chief executive Michael McCartney says the penalities do not go far enough.

He says Fonterra needs to work towards discouraging farmers from breaching effluent discharge conditions in the first place, rather than fining them afterwards.

Mr McCartney says the vast majority of farmers in the region comply with conditions imposed by the council, but there are some who choose to ignore the regulations.

He says it's debateable whether Fonterra's additional enforcement action will be enough to make a difference to them.