Woolies display blasted as a ‘disgrace’

Matt Canavan has blasted Woolworths as “a disgrace” for promoting Chinese New Year while ditching Australia Day.

Liberal MP Garth Hamilton says Woolworths is being disrespectful to the ‘vast majority’ of Australians who look forward to Australia Day and like to celebrate it.

The outspoken Nationals senator shared an image of a “Happy Lunar New Year” display in a Woolworths aisle on X on Monday.

“Welcome to Woolies in 2024. Can’t celebrate Australia Day. Happy to celebrate Chinese New Year. What a disgrace! Boycott Woolies!” he wrote.

Last week, Woolworths confirmed it would no longer be selling Australia Day merchandise, citing a “gradual decline” in sales, with Big W and Aldi following suit.

On Tuesday, Woolworths-owned pet retailer Petstock also said it “won’t be dressing up on Australia Day in our stores”.

‘Can’t celebrate Australia Day.’ Picture: X

Coles said it would continue to stock a range of Australia Day-themed merchandise.

Senator Canavan told news.com.au he had “no problem with Woolies or anyone celebrating Chinese New Year, but if they’re going to celebrate the national holiday of other countries you’d think they’d celebrate the national holiday of your own country, too”.

“Woolies says they’re a proud Australian company but they don’t seem proud of Australia,” he said. “They were ambivalent about whether we should celebrate Australia Day, they said there was a ‘broader discussion’ about January 26, so they’re obviously struggling to be proud of their own country.”

The Senator said he didn’t care what products Woolworths sold but “they’re out there taking a political position on an issue”.

“I don’t think it’s up to our very wealthy corporations to try and dictate political change across the country,” he said.

Woolworths has faced calls for a boycott. Picture: Supplied

“If they want to change something, stand for politics, run on that platform. I’m sick and tired of woke corporations trying to get political change through the back door, whether it’s the date of Australia Day or a carbon tax. It should be up to the Australian people.”

Senator Canavan pointed to the recent failure of the Voice referendum, despite the near universal backing of every major corporation.

“I think the elites here and all over the western world just seem to have turned into ostriches with their heads in the sand for years, totally ambivalent to the pressures and issues facing normal people,” he said.

“They have belittled the views and voting patterns of their fellow countrymen and women and there is a massive backlash against this elite community.”

A Woolworths spokesman said in a statement that “with food at the heart of our grocery business, our focus is on offering customers food and produce for all occasions”.

“Customers across all our stores can also expect to see a large range of great value food offers and specials to enjoy with family and friends in the lead up to and for the Australia Day long weekend,” he said.

“These offers celebrate the best of Australian suppliers and the products that we proudly support all year round.”

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