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In response to John Pettigrew’s letter in the Shepp News on 1st June 2011.

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THE HON DR SHARMAN STONE MP Federal Member for Murray Monday 6 June 2011

In response to John Pettigrew’s letter in the Shepp News on 1st June 2011.

I know that Mr Pettigrew as an Al Gore ambassador is deeply committed in getting us all to save the planet from what he sees as the crisis in climate change.

However, he simply cannot dismiss the fact that Heinz tomato sauce production is heading offshore without acknowledging the role of the Gillard policies that are going to push up costs even further right across Australian manufacturing.

We have Coca Cola Amatil’s Group Managing Director, Terry Davis saying he will not dismiss their SPCA operations going offshore given he “remains concerned that a carbon tax will impact negatively on Australian food and beverage manufacturing.”

Murray Goulburn Co-Operative’s customers have very recently received a warning in their newsletter telling them “dairy farm businesses will see significant additional costs from a carbon tax”. These same farmers are warned that they will have to pick up the extra costs because these cannot be passed onto customers.

The job losses from the Heinz factory closure have enormous impact across their immediate small community and much further afield. Besides the factory employees themselves, there are transport operators, the tomato growers and their workforce.

We have to keep telling the Gillard Government that their policies are hurting the country. New Zealand’s carbon tax is only about A$10 a tonne and they have massive exemptions, which I believe will include the new Heinz tomato factory.

The lowest carbon tax per tonne we are being threatened with, to commence next July, is $26.

The Coalition has an alternative policy to help Australia reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, but our policies will support the environment and support Australian jobs. We will not sacrifice our country just so someone can strut the world’s stage and say we went hardest, we went first and no matter who cares about the consequences.

Dr. Sharman Stone Federal Member for Murray

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