Although on opposide sides of politics, Opposition leader Bill Shorten and Member for Murray Sharman Stone hold similar beliefs about the Federal Government's attitude towards SPC Ardmona.JARROD WHITTAKER February 4, 2014 4:57am
A worker signals her enthusiasm as Federal Opposition leader Bill Shorten, Victorian Opposition leader Daniel Andrews and others walk by at Shepparton's SPC Ardmona plant yesterday.
Six months ago the idea Federal Opposition leader Bill Shorten and Murray MP Sharman Stone would find common ground would have been laughable.
What a difference six months can make.
Both have accused senior federal Cabinet members of using SPC Ardmona workers as ‘‘scapegoats’’, following the Federal Government’s refusal last week to help the Goulburn Valley fruit processing company.
Their separate criticism follows Federal Employment Minister Eric Abetz’s comments conditions at the company are ‘‘over-generous’’.
Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey yesterday said conditions at the company were ‘‘astounding’’ and declared ‘‘the age of entitlement is over’’.
Mr Shorten rejected the criticism during a visit to SPC Ardmona’s Shepparton plant yesterday.
He delivered a simple response.
‘‘Stop scapegoating people on 60 and 70 thousand dollars when you’re on a quarter of a million dollars,’’ Mr Shorten said.
‘‘The challenges faced by SPC Ardmona are to do with a high dollar, they’re to do with the dumping of imports.
‘‘The Abbott Government should stop blaming the workforce.’’
He said if SPC Ardmona withdrew from the region, it would cost more than $25
According to an Essential Economics report released last year, the loss of SPC Ardmona would cost the economy $165
The Federal Government’s refusal to help follows decision to provide $16
‘‘What’s the difference between a Cadbury worker in Hobart and cannery worker in Shepparton?’’ Mr Shorten said.
‘‘I’ll tell you the difference — Shepparton is a safe Liberal seat.’’
Speaking yesterday, Dr Stone described Mr Hockey’s criticism of conditions at SPC Ardmona as ‘‘not accurate’’.
‘‘There’s a whole range of other problems that have been identified by the Productivity Commission and the independent panel that the government put together,’’ she said.
‘‘These conditions are the Aussie dollar and the huge influx of imports.’’
She said the company was replacing 74 high-paid maintenance workers with contract labour.
‘‘They say it’s shocking that the food preservers that remain are being paid double their award wage, well an award wage is only $23
She said ‘‘very few’’ workers in food manufacturing were paid the award wage.
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The Yarrawonga Pigeons scored a 20 point victory over the Myrtleford Saints at the JC Lowe Oval in Yarrawonga on Saturday.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
A WORKING group has been formed to tackle Moama’s housing problems.
ROCHESTER’S mums and bubs fitness class is only in its third week but it has already doubled its enrolment numbers, blowing organisers’ expectations out of the water.
Tongala Football Club lost to Rumbalara in the Murray Netball League on Saturday by 14 points.
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Berrigan Shire councillor Daryll Morris says he has been sickened by some of the vitriol and personal attacks to surface since the council’s proposal to redevelop Finley’s Memorial Hall and School of Arts site was revealed in October last year.
DESPITE criticism from within the community over a perceived lack of use, the O’Keefe Rail Trail has enjoyed good traffic over the past couple of weeks, with more to come.
Members of a Cobram social group have encouraged women to become a part of community groups, committees and boards.
School fundraises for student with leukaemia.
ix industry and local government representatives, five water services committee members and two community members have been appointed to the new Connections Stakeholder Consultative Committee.
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