Gillard’s Show Stopper

The Royal Adelaide Show has closed for another year. I have no doubt that the show itself was an outstanding success for organisers, exhibitors and patrons.

After spending time on the Liberal Party stand, I enjoyed the exhibits and some of the show rides with my children. Unfortunately, it is only a matter of time before they are too embarrassed to be seen on the “Mega Drop” and other rides with the only person at the show in a suit!

The Adelaide Show is also an important event for thousands of people who enter competitions, display livestock and catch up with long-standing friends.

The entire show is engaging, enthralling and expensive.

Unfortunately, due to Labor’s ‘award modernisation’ laws, the Royal Adelaide Show and many of the 61 South Australian country shows and field days will become more expensive. In fact, the Country Shows Society estimates that cost increases of around $10,000 will threaten the very viability of many events.

It stands to reason that additional costs that might exceed the proceeds of many country events means they become unsustainable. No amount of goodwill can overcome the need to have an event that supports rather than drains a local economy.

But award modernisation won’t just impact on our country field days. Many primary industries, particularly the agricultural sector, are worried about the impact on them. South Australian wine grape growers are pleading for flexibility to manage their harvest and viticulture management needs. Our already struggling dairy industry will be forced to reconsider employment arrangements as the impact of penalty rates takes hold.

This is despite the false promises of Ms Gillard that “modern awards are not intended to disadvantage employees or increase costs for employers.”

There are, of course, many more examples of disadvantage. In fact, any business or industry that doesn’t work Gillard-approved ‘business hours’ will face increased costs. These will inevitably be passed on to end consumers. That means things become more expensive for you and me.

The butchers, the bakers and the wine makers will all need to increase prices or decrease employment to counter the lack of flexibility in the new arrangements. Neither option is what Australians wanted when they voted for the Rudd Government.

In their quest to re-engineer Australian society, the Rudd Government has failed to consider the impact on many of the businesses and industries that sustain rural and regional Australia. Mr Rudd and his team need to get outside of our capital cities before making ideological decisions that will hurt millions of Australians.

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