International giant eBay has found itself at the centre of a stoush over electronic sheep tags between Victorian Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford and the shadow minister, Peter Walsh.
Mr Walsh accused Ms Pulford of ‘‘beefing up the pockets of global corporations over Victorian small business’’ after a spokesperson for Ms Pulford was quoted in the Weekly Times last Wednesday as saying ‘‘there is no requirement to buy gear other than subsidised electronic tags and an applicator — which costs about $70 to $80 on eBay’’.
The comment ignited a passionate response from Mr Walsh, who said Ms Pulford should be supporting Victorian small businesses, not ‘‘acting as a billboard for a massive global website like eBay’’.
‘‘Labor blocked rural supply stores from selling the new eID tags and is now telling farmers to choose cheap equipment from an online retailer — instead of promoting the businesses that support our local rural community groups,’’ he said.
‘‘There’s not a single cent of benefit for country communities in this kind of anti-small business attitude.’’
Ms Pulford said Mr Walsh was scaremongering with his comments.
‘‘Peter Walsh used to support this important reform but now he’s more interested in scaring farmers about the costs associated with eID than protecting our livestock industries,’’ she said.
‘‘He should be ashamed of this scaremongering and he should be ashamed of the $20million annual biosecurity funding cuts he dealt to Victorian farmers.’’