Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has voiced his outrage regarding the Woolworths Group’s decision to no longer stock Australia Day related merchandise at Woolworths stores and Big W. In a move labelled by Dutton as pushing a “woke agenda”, this move from the supermarket chain comes as Australia continues to come to terms with its legacy of colonialism and violence towards Indigenous Australians.
Reflecting many of the changing attitudes within the community surrounding Australia Day, Woolworths has stated the move is in response to “a gradual decline in demand for Australia Day merchandise from our stores over recent years”, with the company highlighting they still sell Australian Flags at Big W all year round. This means Woolies has joined an ever-growing list of Australian stores, including Kmart and Aldi, who are no longer stocking Australia Day related merchandise.
Despite this “decline in demand”, Peter Dutton has called for Australians to “boycott”, citing his belief that “until we get common sense out of a company like Woolworths, I don’t think they should be supported by the public”. A Woolworths store in the Brisbane suburb of Teneriffe was then vandalised with pro-Australia Day slogans, with some locals blaming Peter Dutton’s response.