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Griffiths must supply outside meat inspectors at Wodonga



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pBRLJCE LLOVOD C O M M O N W E A LTH

PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY M IC A H _

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DEPUTY LEADER, ΝΑΊ IONAL PARTY OK AUSTRALIA

S H A D O W M IN IS T E R FOR PRIMARY INDUSTRY

GRIFFITHS MOST SOPPLY OUTSIDE MEAT INSPECTORS AT WODONGA

The meat inspector situation at the Wodonga abattoirs proves that the management of the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) could not run a Sunday school picnic, much less the operations of the Nation's

export inspection service, according to National Party Deputy Leader and Shadow Minister for Primary Industry, Bruce Lloyd.

Mr Lloyd said if the AQIS management could not provide inspectors to allow the Wodonga abattoir to operate, then it was time the responsible Minister, Alan Griffiths, stepped in.

"Of course the local meat inspectors are going to refuse to cross the picket line because they fear reprisals later if they have to work

alongside people on the picket line.

"Inspectors from outside the area should have been brought into the area and police protection provided to ensure their safety.

"There are about 400 spare inspectors who could be immediately available.

"Mr Griffiths should stop listening to the Minister for Primary Industries and Energy, John Kerin, who says inspectors might get injured crossing the picket line.

"Even the local inspectors crossed the picket line daily to collect their pay when the abattoir did not have workers to kill stock. Now there are workers, the inspectors are suddenly picket shy.

Mr Lloyd said Australia was declining fast enough without being assisted by people who did not want to work, and it was up to Governments to ensure that those willing to work were supported in every way possible.

"The Minister should get rid of the weak public servants running AQIS and allow it to be run on a businesslike basis.

"Any organisation that pays an inspector $28,000 a year but charges an abattoir $65,000 per inspector stands condemned as inefficient and top

"However when the abattoir is paying these outrageous prices and cannot operate its plant because these people are unwilling to work, it is time for drastic action.

"Mr Griffiths could supply outside inspectors from the pool of people being 1 paid to do nothing and get the abattoir back into production.

"Victorians are sick and tired of Wally Curran's domination of the

meatworkers union, which has seen thousands of abattoir jobs exported to New South Wales and Queensland. If he is now calling the shots about

whether inspectors will work or not, the meat industry is in even deeper ! trouble," Mr Lloyd said. i

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