Labor trips over the food bowl
In a mad scramble to get on the, previously unnoticed by them, issue of developing Northern Australia, the Gillard government appears to have made yet another stumble.
“The Coalition has been working on this issue for years and we have developed a cohesive and workable policy,” said Senator Ian Macdonald, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Northern and Remote Australia.
“The Labor party has recently discovered it – they didn’t even have a policy for Northern Australia at the last election.
“In their haste to get on the bandwagon they are, as usual, at complete odds with each other.”
On Monday, Trade Minister Craig Emerson, backed the use of substantial Chinese capital to expand agricultural production in the “great under-utilised potential of northern Australia”. And on Tuesday Regional Australia Minister Simon Crean gave a Northern Outback Irrigators forum in Hughenden the same message.
“But only last week Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig released the Government’s National Food Plan which categorically stated that a northern food bowl based on large scale expansion of irrigated agriculture was neither feasible nor sustainable,” Senator Macdonald said.
“They’re all over the place, this Government,” he said.
“They don’t know what they think, what they believe, or what they should do.
“They’re grasping at any straw they think will salvage them at the polls, and different Ministers are grabbing separate straws.
“The Coalition has developed a Northern Australia policy which Tony Abbott will release when the time is right, and it’s a considered and cohesive plan to develop the North in a careful and constructive way, for the benefit of all Australians and particularly Northern Australians.
“We know what we’re doing and, unlike the Gillard rabble, we won’t be chopping and changing every five minutes in the hope of winning more votes.”