Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

SPC Senate inquiry called for

Independent Senator Nick Xenophon has called for an urgent inquiry into embattled fruit processor SPC Ardmona.

JARROD WHITTAKER February 6, 2014 6:09am

Senator Nick Xenophon.

Independent Senator Nick Xenophon says farming and agriculture are ‘‘at the crossroads’’ and is calling for an urgent Senate inquiry into SPC Ardmona.

Senator Xenophon said an inquiry was needed into the company, including impacts on jobs and farmers’ viability.

The inquiry would also examine the impacts of food labelling laws, dumped imported products and industrial relations.

He said an inquiry would ‘‘take away the politics and get to the facts’’.

‘‘The Federal Liberal Member for Murray, Dr Sharman Stone is clearly not buying the Cabinet line that industrial relations was a significant factor in the government’s lack of support for SPC Ardmona,’’ Senator Xenophon said.

‘‘It’s important to establish why Australian businesses like SPC are struggling and how the government can effectively safeguard jobs.’’

Last week ahead of the federal Cabinet’s decision not to provide $25million to the company, Senator Xenophon warned the impacts of its collapse would be felt beyond the Goulburn Valley.

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