Friday 1st of August 2014

keeping up appearances .....

keeping up appearances ....

from politicoz ….

The fight to frame the debate around SPC Ardmona continues apace, and it's central to a broader ideological battle.

Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott have been building the case that they are ushering in a new era of economic responsibility that companies can no longer expect handouts, and unions are presiding over unaffordable work conditions. The message is an obvious and simple one, and the business press is fully supportive.

But it's also giving rise to fierce criticism, from many sides.

Sharman Stone, the Liberal member for Murray (which includes Shepparton, home of SPCA), has openly accused Abbott and Hockey of lying. They had deliberately misled the public, she said, by falsely attributing the company's problems to worker entitlements, in order to launch a wider war against unions. Work conditions at SCPA are neither unusual nor overly generous.

Labor has compared the government's decision to its $16m pledge to Cadbury prior to the election. Abbott says the situation is quite different, because that was entirely tourism-related – which is not what was said at the time. He also failed to explain why tourism is more worthy of support than manufacturing.

It has also emerged that the government yesterday announced a co-investment deal, remarkably similar in design to the SPCA deal they rejected, with Huon Aquaculture – to upgrade machinery just as SPCA had intended to.

"You can't argue processed fish is more valuable to the economy than processed fruit," Sharman Stone responded.

She insists that the majority of her Coalition colleagues agree with her. A split party room is just one sign of the damage this issue may cause. This local Shepparton newspaper has found a more straightforward way of communicating what is at stake for Coalition politicians.

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Of course, a look at the Coca-Cola Amatil - 2012 Annual Report highlights the dishonesty of the mad monk’s statements …..

Group Manager Director, Terry Davis, says:

“The ongoing impact of the high Australian dollar on the competitiveness of the SPCA business, the significant deflation of fresh fruit prices and the growth of imported grocery private label packaged fruit and vegetables has necessitated a second half significant write-down in SPCA assets and goodwill.

At this stage we are targeting $30-40 million of annual efficiency gains and cost out initiatives to be delivered progressively over the next three years, with a particular focus on further reducing the cost base of the under-performing SPC Ardmona business and the New Zealand beverage operations.”

Elsewhere in the same report, under the heading “Significant Items”, CCA says:

“CCA recorded a net $98.5 million after tax significant item expense for 2012. Significant items comprise:

- $34.2 million in after tax cash proceeds from SABMiller for not proceeding with the acquisition of the Foster’s Australian spirits business;

- $13.3 million in after tax cash gain from The Coca-Cola Company for agreeing to replace the Kirks brand in the licensed channel with the Cascade brand;

- The ongoing impact of the high Australian dollar on the competitiveness of the SPCA business, the significant deflation of fresh fruit prices and the growth of imported grocery private label packaged fruit and vegetables has necessitated a non-cash write-down of goodwill in the business of $48.0 million; and

- $98.0 million of largely non-cash expenses relating to inventory and other asset write-downs and other business restructuring costs primarily associated with the ongoing transformation of SPCA.

Not only a liar, but not even a good liar …..