Aussies reveal how they feel about Peter Dutton’s call to boycott Woolies over Australia Day move

Jan 18, 2024
It seems that what Aussies are spending at the supermarket checkout holds more sway than what retailers choose to stock their shelves with. Source: Getty Images.

As Woolworths continues to face criticism for its decision to no longer sell Australia Day merchandise, Aussies are now making their voices heard regarding Opposition Leader Peter Dutton’s call to boycott the retail giant.

Controversy arose when the retailer revealed to that they would not be offering items specific to Australia Day in 2024.

“While Australian flags are sold within BIG W all year round, we don’t have any additional themed merchandise available to purchase in-store in our Supermarkets or BIG W ahead of Australia Day,” a Woolworths Group spokesperson said.

“There has been a gradual decline in demand for Australia Day merchandise from our stores over recent years. At the same time there’s been broader discussion about 26 January and what it means to different parts of the community.

“We know many people like to use this day as a time to get together and we offer a huge variety of products to help customers mark the day as they choose.

“Woolworths and BIG W celebrate the best of Australia every day, and we’re proud to support the farmers, producers, and suppliers who work with us.”

The announcement triggered a wave of reactions from the public, with sentiments ranging from frustration to outright anger across the social media landscape.

One figure who was not shy about voicing their displeasure with Woolworth’s decision was Opposition Leader Peter Dutton who labelled it “an outrage”.

“For Woolworths to start taking political positions to oppose Australia Day is against the national interest, the national spirit,”  he told 2GB on Thursday, January 11.

“If (customers) don’t want to celebrate Australia Day, well that’s a decision for them.

“Until we get common sense out of a company like Woolworths, I don’t think they should be supported by the public.”

While Dutton’s comments attracted a great deal of attention and triggered further discussion, a recent YouGov poll has shown that only 20 per cent of Australian voters support the Opposition Leader’s call for a boycott with a substantial 66 per cent more concerned about the supermarket’s excessive price rises.

While 14 per cent of voters said they supported the supermarket’s decision to not stock Australia Day themed items.

YouGov Director of Government, Paul Smith said the poll results indicate that Dutton has “picked the wrong focus” regarding this issue.

“Excessive price rises at supermarkets is the main concern for Australian voters,” Smith explained.

“Even 67% of those who voted ‘No’ in the Voice referendum see this as the primary issue.

“Our poll shows that Mr Dutton has picked the wrong focus with only one in five voters backing his boycott call. Even Liberals were twice as concerned with excessive pricing, as expressed by 61% of voters, with only 32% backing Dutton’s boycott.”

While Woolworth’s decision ruffled a few feathers, it seems that what Aussies are spending at the supermarket checkout holds more sway than what retailers choose to stock their shelves with.




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