Premier has to save egg industry, says MP

AUSTRALIA - Premier Mike Rann has been urged to intervene to save South Australia's egg industry.

"If he doesn't do something quickly, this industry is going to be wiped out," No Pokies MLC Nick Xenophon said yesterday. Mr Xenophon said now the Premier had returned to Adelaide after a two-week holiday to India, he should take charge of the issue.

"There was a last-minute rush for Christmas orders, but this week will be critical," he said.

Mr Xenophon has been highly critical of Agriculture Food and Fisheries Minister Rory McEwen's refusal to act, saying he "has been as weak as water on this crisis". "The Premier talks a lot about SA being a food bowl and the importance of our fresh produce. But if we lose our egg industry, we will be the laughing stock of the nation."

Mr Xenophon said egg producers had their "backs to the wall" and appealed to Mr Rann to take urgent action to save them. "A rescue package of, say $15 million, would be far less than the cost of extending trams in the city," he said. "We are talking about 1000 jobs and people's livelihoods."

On Friday, egg producers warned they would have to destroy 30,000 more healthy hens within days if help was not forthcoming. Valley Poultry and Golden Eggs, have already killed 80,000 hens.

Mr Xenophon has flagged the possibility of an injunction to stop interstate suppliers dumping eggs in SA. A spokeswoman for Mr Rann said she doubted he would yet have been fully briefed on the issue.

Source: The Advertiser
calendar icon 27 December 2005
clock icon 1 minute read
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