The decision by the federal Government not to support SPC last week has opened a can of worms. This time, the worms have some grunt, as the head worm, Charman Stone has shone a light into the corners of the decision, and in the process, dumped on her party.
For the first time as another important business in the Australian food processing industry seemingly disappears, there is some debate about the facts, and analysis of the implications, rather than just having emotion and ideology spewed at us. Anything other than facts, and dispassionate analysis based on those facts, is meaningless if we are to come to grips with the real commercial issues, rather than those of political self preservation.
All this has been sparked by Stones vigorous defense of SPC in her electorate, culminating this morning in an interview in which she as much as called the PM a liar.
Pretty strong, even from one noted to be a bit outspoken
Over a long period, the Australian food processing industry has been gutted by a range of factors, from the globalisation of supply chains, the power of the retail duopoly, years of drought (drought is really the new normal) short sighted, risk averse, and spineless management, union intractability, subsidies of various sorts recieved by international competitors, and the high $A. Some we can address, some we can’t, but allocating blame is not a helpful strategy.
Hopefully, some further intelligent debate will evolve, but the inconsistencies in policy, highlighted by the Cadbury decision before the election, and announcement today of support for Huon Aquaculture will do nothing for the confidence of investors.
Charman Stone is aggressively putting her case, lets see some other pollies grow some backbone.