Prime Minister Tony Abbott has stood firm on his decision to reject SPC Ardmona’s plea for assistance, stating that the decision is final and will not be swayed by efforts from liberal MP Sharman Stone, who called upon cabinet to reconsider.
The troubled food processor requested $25m in assistance as part of a restructure plan to keep the company afloat – a figure that was promised by the previous Labor government.
Abbott formerly rejected SPCA’s request last week, arguing that the company needed to renegotiate ‘extraordinary’ workplace conditions that he said were “way in excess of the award” and largely responsible for the processor's financial trouble.
SPC replied to the allegations by releasing a statement claiming that Abbott’s comments were “mistaken and needed to be refuted by the facts.” Stone also backed SPCA by accusing Abbott and Treasurer Joe Hockey of ‘lying’, and called upon cabinet to reconsider, ABC News reports.
Abbott said that he ‘understands’ Stone’s frustration, but that cabinet would not ‘revisit’ SPCA’s application.
"I absolutely understand that local members are going to fight for their electorate. That's as it should be.
"I also understand that when a local member has been bitterly disappointed by a particular decision, that there'll be some reaction. I absolutely understand that," Abbott said.
"But the decision we made last week was a tough decision, but it was a necessary decision. I've got to say, it was a defining decision, and it's not one the government will revisit."