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Slipper unhelpful to coalition unity.



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Media release

SLIPPER UNHELPFUL TO COALITION UNITY

Thursday, 16 February 2006

New South Wales Nationals Senator Fiona Nash today hit back at Queensland Liberal Peter Slipper, saying his ill-informed comments on the wheat single desk and criticism of Nationals' leader Mark Vaile would do nothing to help coalition unity.

"I recognise Peter Slipper's right to hold his ill-informed views, but to speak out on them is another matter," Senator Nash said.

"Mr Slipper might think it's cute to be critical of the single desk and Mark Vaile, but I do not!

"His Sunshine Coast seat is hardly a wheat-belt!

"Peter Slipper should think long and hard about the broader impact his comments might have.

"The single desk is not on trial, and Mark Vaile is not on trial!

"Peter Slipper and other critics of the single desk should take a cold shower.

"Let the Cole inquiry take its course, hear the evidence, and make its judgment.

"A running commentary on every twist and turn of the Cole inquiry is not helpful. Australian wheat farmers are already suffering from the impact of drought and low prices. This sort of commentary does nothing to help wheat farmers.

"For so long as we operate in a distorted global market and the majority of Australian wheat growers want the single desk arrangements to remain, The Nationals will fight to preserve the single desk.

"I say to Peter Slipper - play the ball Peter, not the man!"

Media Contact: Mark Croxford 0422 404 149