Thursday, 21 February 2019
I was going to move a motion, but, with the time limited, I'm not going to do that; I'm going to speak to the member for Hunter's motion. The reintroduction of a minimum price scheme is the only way this can ever be fixed up. Seventy years ago, the founder of my party, the Country Party, got into politics by introducing a minimum price scheme. The history books read that, when a couple of blokes at the big meeting disagreed with them, he took them out the back and gave them a flogging. From then on he was called 'Black Jack' McEwen. There are a few blokes over here on this side that probably deserve the same treatment. Let me be very formal. Jeff Kennett deregulated the market and took away the arbitrated price into the Melbourne market, which destroyed the industry in Victoria. It did not destroy the industry in New South Wales and Queensland. They were subsequently deregulated. This is what arbitration does for you: on the day before we lost arbitration, we were on 59c, and on the day after we lost arbitration, we were on 41c. So how can you answer that arbitration is wrong? When the price was introduced 60 years ago, the price went up nearly 400 per cent.