Pauline Hanson to go on strike over sugar

As the Turnbull government looks to get key legislation through the parliament before a pre-budget break, Pauline Hanson is throwing up a new hurdle.

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The One Nation leader, whose party holds three crucial votes in the Senate, is threatening to effectively go on strike over a Queensland sugar dispute.

“I’ve made a stance that myself and One Nation senators will not be supporting any government legislation or any legislation before parliament until the Wilmar dispute is sorted between the cane growers and Wilmar,” Senator Hanson told reporters at Canberra airport on Sunday.

Senator Hanson wants the government to intervene and is pushing for a mandatory code of conduct for the industry.

Speaking to ABC Radio this morning, Treasurer Scott Morrison said that the government had been working hard behind-the-scenes to ensure a deal is reached to provide certainty on sugar prices. 

“I don’t think Australians expect their parliamentarians to go on strike. I think they expect them to turn up to work and do the job,” he said.

Nationals Senator John Williams said he supports Senator Hanson’s call, but insists she shouldn’t “blackmail” the coalition.

“I think that Pauline should work with the legislation, deal with one issue as it comes through, not just hold a gun to our head,” he told ABC radio.

Mill owner Wilmar and Queensland Sugar Mills have been unable to reach a new supply agreement, which determines mill access and sugar prices, leaving about 1500 farmers unable to crush their cane ahead of the 2017 season.

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