Wednesday, 13 September 2006
Fruit and Vegetable Growers
That so much of the standing and sessional orders be suspended as would prevent the Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources from coming into this place and providing a full and proper explanation as to why the Government:
- misled farmers in a letter to the National Farmers Federation before the 2004 federal election promising that a re-elected Coalition Government would introduce a mandatory code of conduct for the horticulture industry;
- falsely promised fruit and vegetable growers that the Government would introduce a mandatory code that would deliver a fairer deal on their terms of trade and on resolving disputes with produce buyers;
- falsely promised that supermarket chains would be included in a mandatory code;
- falsely promised that legislation for a mandatory code would be brought into Parliament within 100 days of the election;
- falsely promised that the code would be overseen by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission;
- compromised the former Deputy Prime Minister, the Member for Gwydir, by dumping his promise to deliver a mandatory fruit and vegetable code;
- wasted tax payers’ money by employing public servants and consultants to develop a draft mandatory code that will never see the light of day; and
- falsely claimed that the code now being forced on the industry will be enforceable when in fact it will be voluntary.
This is the greatest betrayal of fruit and vegetable growers that we have ever seen.