Why Exclude People and Parties Who Want to Help?

The Tasmanian Greens today expressed their disbelief at the decision by McCain to close down their Smithton processing plant and make up to 200 workers redundant, and called on the Bartlett Government to cease playing politics with this issue and start trying to assist the workers and suppliers who currently rely on McCain’s business for their livelihoods.

Greens Leader Nick McKim MP said it is disappointing that the Bartlett Government has already politicised the situation by excluding the other two political parties, and their ideas, from a taskforce being set up to assist the workers, and then spruiking the divisive and controversial Tarkine Road proposal as a panacea to the problems facing the region.

Mr McKim also called on the Bartlett Government to examine the rules and regulations surrounding cooperative farming arrangements in Tasmania, and to closely consider the benefits that would be available to North-West Tasmanian farmers through a farmer’s co-op.

“This decision from McCain is staggering for the 200 workers and their families who will be directly affected, and will also threaten the future of the food-bowl that already exists in North West Tasmania,” said Mr McKim.

“If there was ever an issue on which all three political parties should work together to try and deliver outcomes for the people of the North West then it is this one, and the Bartlett Government’s decision to politicise the issue and exclude any input from the other parties is just not good enough.”

“The Tarkine Road proposal has nothing to do with the situation facing the McCain’s workers and suppliers, and Bryan Green should hang his head in shame for bringing up this divisive and unrelated issue at a time when we actually need to take the politics out of the debate.”

“Co-operative farming arrangements give local farmers and businesses some control over their own employment and business futures, they empower communities, bring people together and take local production away from the whims of multinational corporations.”

“The Greens are calling on the government to stop playing politics with the people of the North West, and to instead include all opinions and consider all ideas when it comes to helping workers and farmers to start again after McCain abandons Smithton in 2010,” said Mr McKim.
Nick McKim MP Greens Leader