Australian food industry welcomes new Gillard government

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 7th September 2010

Australia’s food and grocery manufacturing industry has welcomed the new Gillard Government, with announcements from the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) and Australian Retailers Association, stating that they looked forward to working with the new government on a range of issues.

Commenting on today’s decision by two Independent MPs to support Labor, AFGC Chief Executive Kate Carnell said: “AFGC congratulates the new Gillard Government.”

“It’s also encouraging to see strong commitments for a national food and grocery strategy from all sides of politics, which is fundamental to Australia’s future.

“Industry welcomes the support for a national food plan from both major parties and the Greens as well as increased focus over recent days from Independent Senator Nick Xenophon.

“Industry look forward to working with all sides of politics to ensure Australia has a safe, robust, affordable and sustainable food industry that continues to grow into the future.”

“Retailers and the wider business community, including small businesses, expect thorough consultation before major government decisions are made and the ARA looks forward to working closely with the new Government and the Greens, who now hold the balance of power in the Senate,” said ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman.

“The recently released ARA State of the Independent Retail Sector Report revealed an overwhelming feeling the Government didn’t give enough support to independent retailers despite the fact they each provide jobs for an average five to ten staff, totalling over 108,000 Australians working for independent fashion, service station, newsagency and convenience stores across the country.

“The ARA expects the new minority Gillard Government to always give ample consideration to the important role the retail sector plays as Australia’s largest employer and the role small business plays as the engine room of the nation’s economy.

“Similarly, retailers would expect the Greens to use their balance of power in the Senate to ensure small and independent businesses are given political clout over any negotiation of legislation in the Senate.

Independent MP Bob Katter, who has been a staunch advocate for food security and Australia’s agriculture and dairy industry, elected this afternoon to split from his fellow independents and back the Coalition.