31 January 2014: KAP Federal Lead and Member for Kennedy Bob Katter has forecast a great tragedy after the Federal Government’s checkmate move denied SPC Ardmona’s request for industry assistance.
“The decision by the Federal Government to do nothing about SPC Ardmona is the same decision to do nothing about Holden,” Mr Katter said, who has previously moved a motion in Parliament for Government to protect Australian food producers.
Mr Katter said, “It is about time that the farmers and workers of Australia realised that they have a commonality of interest, which is not served by a Liberal Party that caters to the slithering sharks and snakes of big cities.”
It is completely hypocritical that the government was able to give $16 million to Cadbury’s Hobart factory, while denying $25 million to SPC Ardmona.
“Let every Australian understand – SPC Ardmona is not just our country’s last fruit processor; it is also the Goulbourn Valley’s biggest private employer, injecting some $63 million into the local economy through almost 900 direct full-time staff and supporting a further 2700 jobs,” Mr Katter said
“It is not only the factory workers that will go down, so will the farmers that grow the fruit and vegetables and if we lose the packaged market in Australia, farmers will watch their produce rot on the ground,” Mr Katter said.
Mr Katter condemns the Government for facilitating the unfair playing field that is the “free market”, demanding direct and immediate action to protect Australian industry.
Mr Katter estimates that as a result of the Government’s failure to assist SPC Ardmona more than half of all foods will be imported. SPC Ardmona, Simplot, McCain’s and Golden Circle, accounts for 83% of all packaged foods on supermarket shelves.
Mr Katter is calling on all Australians to support Australian producers in buying Australian farmed and processed canned products.