Issue causes divide

By By Lucy Skuthorp
Updated January 5 2016 - 6:16pm, first published May 30 2007 - 11:00pm

STAUNCH deregulation advocates in the Liberal Party have dropped plans to introduce a Private Members Bill to Parliament over the single desk decision.Wilson Tuckey, Alby Schultz and Judith Adams will instead try to push through amendments to create more transparency and accountability within AWB this coming harvest.Mr Tuckey said when legislation is introduced to extend the Minister for Agriculture's veto powers, he wants amendments made which would make AWB International have to apply for an export licence (because they are currently exempt) and would remove the exemptions from the Trade Practices Act which currently apply to the monopoly exporter.While softening their approach to the legislation, Mr Tuckey has continued his attack on the single desk and AWB and its supporters."As we speak, notwithstanding that the Cole inquiry came down in November last year, the Government has taken no action against AWB or its executives yet, but we are in the process of trying to restructure them as a business," said Mr Tuckey.Last week, only 24 hours after the Prime Minister announced farmers had to set up their own single desk, the deep divisions caused by that decision among Liberal party members were on show for all to see.At the end of Question Time last Wednesday, West Australian Liberal MP, Judi Moylan claimed she had been personally misrepresented and defamed in a newspaper article.The article, published in The Australian, quoted Mr Tuckey as saying: "It's outrageous. She's up to her eyeballs in protecting AWB Limited, the corrupt company".Ms Moylan said she would "absolutely reject" any allegations that she had supported corruption by AWB "or indeed any other organisation or individual".But Mr Tuckey was straight to his feet to unleash more attacks, in a rare public display of party disunity.Mr Tuckey also claimed to be personally misrepresented, this time by Ms Moylan in the earlier explanation."I claim to be misrepresented by the claim made in those remarks," Mr Tuckey told the Parliament."I refer the House to the balance of that article where the Member for Pearce (Ms Moylan) is quoted as saying that she welcomed the 'status quo' and defended a group of remaining employees of AWB, none of whom blew the whistle on their executives prior to theà."Mr Tuckey was interrupted by the Speaker of the House before he could finish his claims, and his Coalition colleagues actually walked out of the house while Mr Tuckey was still speaking.

Get the latest VIC news in your inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.

We care about the protection of your data. Read our Privacy Policy.