Labour's Agriculture Spokesperson Insults Farmers

  • Dr Lockwood Smith

Labour's agriculture spokesperson Jim Sutton insulted farmers with his comments at yesterday's Federated Farmers' annual conference, Agriculture Minister Lockwood Smith said today.

"At the Federated Farmers' conference yesterday, Mr Sutton said he opposed restoring control of the Meat and Wool boards to farmers," Dr Smith said.

"While the Government believes farmers should be able to decide whether such organisations should exist and charge levies under the Commodity Levies Act, Mr Sutton believes these decisions should continue to be made by parliament, politicians and bureaucrats.

"That's an insult to farmers. Farmers are smart enough to work out the value of the Meat and Wool boards themselves.

"Equally insulting was his failure to say clearly whether he supports the continuation or removal of monopoly export powers. The conference gave him an opportunity to give a straight answer to that question. He dodged it."