A union picket at the Port of Melbourne is causing millions of dollars’ worth of prime agricultural product to rot and waste.
Member for Western Victoria and Shadow Assistant Minister for Agriculture, Simon Ramsay, has called on the Premier, Daniel Andrews, to talk to his militant union mates to stop the blockade.
“There are more than 1000 containers of goods and perishables sitting at the container terminal – some of it rotting.
“But what’s really rotten is the Premier’s cosy relationship with his lefty-militant-union mates that enables them to go about this destruction to Victoria’s agricultural exports and reputation uninterrupted.
“Dan should march down to the dock and pull his comrades into line,” Mr Ramsay said.
Among the goods reportedly sitting at the dock are 11 tonnes of beef, 25 tonnes of milk powder, 170 tonnes of cheese, 200 tonnes of wheat grain and fruit, cotton and hay.
The Government’s own website indicates Victoria is Australia’s largest good and fibre exporter accounting for ‘79 per cent of Australia’s dairy exports, 55 per cent of wool exports, 46 per cent of horticultural exports and 38 per cent of prepared food exports.’
“And yet we haven’t heard a word from Dan about the impact his union chums are causing to Victoria’s export credibility. Not a word.
“We have a Premier who one week spends taxpayer’s money on overseas jaunts spruiking Victoria’s amazing capacities for growth, trade and commerce – inviting other nations to do business with us.
“And the next week he turns his head to union action that would discourage other nations and genuine traders from getting involved.
“On behalf of famers and exporters, I urge the Premier to stand up for law abiding, hard-working, jobs-generating Victorians,” Mr Ramsay said.
“Clearly his ALP-funding relationships with the militant MUA and CFMEU are more important to the Premier than a functioning, progressive, vital economy. It is a sad day for the state.”