Gillard's embarrassing backdown on SPC Ardmona


Labor leader Julia Gillard has been forced into an embarrassing backdown from her curt dismissal of a request for emergency assistance from the operators of SPC Ardmona.

"It is deeply embarrassing for Ms Gillard and Australia that this request has been treated in such a ham-fisted way," Liberal Senator Richard Colbeck said.

"This is another demonstration of toxic relationships and lack of trust in the ALP Cabinet, and Ms Gillard's lack of confidence in her Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig.

"The Prime Minister and her Ministers just don't seem to be talking to each other."

The company managing director Peter Kelly wrote to Federal Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig on Monday asking that he activate protection measures contained in World Trade Organisation rules.

Mr Ludwig on Tuesday said that the request would be referred to both the Customs and Trade portfolios for investigation and consideration.

On Thursday, Ms Gillard dismissed the request.

Then today she is saying it will be given further consideration.

"The Gillard government is in complete chaos," Senator Colbeck said. "Coca-Cola Amatil, the operator of SPC Ardmona, is a significant business. They understand the trading environment better than most.

"For them to make such a significant request for emergency assistance is no small matter and it should be given it's due and proper consideration, not cast aside by poorly briefed and out of touch Prime Minister."

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