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Country Labor: like a pub with no beer.



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17 May 2000 M87/2000

COUNTRY LABOR - LIKE A PUB WITH NO BEER

Within days of its launch, Country Labor is already looking like the pub with no beer, Federal Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local, Senator Ian Macdonald said today.

"It is now readily apparent that the Country Labor label is a shallow marketing ploy that even ALP State Divisions have already seen through.

"Like the pub with no beer, Country Labor might try to look like the real thing but when you turn the tap on - nothing!

Senator Macdonald said the cracks were already starting to appear in Labor’s political stunt to try to fool the bush.

"Two days ago Kim Beazley was forced to admit that you need more than a name change, you need policies. On that count Labor have failed dismally."

"The Queensland and Victorian branches of the ALP have rejected the concept before it got off the ground."

"Yesterday even the Deputy Labor Leader Simon Crean, was luke-warm on the concept of the so-called Country Labor. When asked on Radio National if he thought the concept was a good idea he said:

‘Well, it could be but in itself its not enough…I think it only works if there is a sense that there is a genuine commitment on the part of Labor to listen and to act on regional concerns. Now this is something we have been working on over four years."

"It is a sad indictment of Labor that the product of a dubious four years of listening was a lack of policy, a belated bush visit and a hollow name change," Senator Macdonald said.

Senator Macdonald said that so called Country Labor was already turning to dust because regional Australians demand substance, not a trademark. All Labor can do is criticise and carp, but they can’t provide an alternative."

Media Contact: David Moore: (02) 6277 7060 / (0417) 774 724

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