LABOR has accused Prime Minister Tony Abbott of inconsistency in jobs investment, despite the announcement by food processor SPC Ardmona that it has signed a $70 million deal with supermarket giant Woolworths.
SPC announced on Tuesday the massive contract to supply 24,000 extra tonnes of tomatoes, fruit and beans to Woolworths, in a major boost to the company that was recently refused $25 million in federal government assistance.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott says he always believed SPC Ardmona was a sound business.
But Mr Shorten, who was in Perth to begin campaigning for the West Australian Senate election re-run, said the Abbott government should take no credit for its hardline approach.
"The Victorian government stepped into assist SPC," he said. "I am pleased that there is good news at any point about jobs, but I was appalled the Abbott government had no plan about SPC jobs.
"What makes this position so inconsistent is that a chocolate factory in Hobart (Cadbury) can get Abbott government money but a fruit-processing plant in the Goulburn Valley doesn't.
"There is no consistency."
The Abbott government refused to provide $25 million in support to the Shepparton cannery, saying its parent company, Coca-Cola Amatil, should step in and save the food processor.
In the end, the Victorian government offered the SPC Ardmona $22 million, as part of a $100 million co-investment strategy with the company.