Police at the graffitied Woolworths store.
Police at the Woolworths in the Brisbane suburb of Teneriffe after it was graffitied on Monday. Image by Darren England/AAP PHOTOS
  • politics

Woolworths store graffitied after boycott call

Kat Wong January 15, 2024

A Woolworths store has been tagged with pro-Australia Day graffiti as the prime minister slammed the opposition leader over his call for a boycott of the supermarket giant. 

About 5am on Monday morning emergency services were called after vandals targeted a Woolworths Metro in the Brisbane suburb of Teneriffe.

They painted “5 days 26 Jan Aussie Oi Oi Woolies f*** u” on its exterior and set off a flare inside the business, which Queensland Police said was quickly extinguished.

A Woolworths spokesperson confirmed that no employees or customers were injured.

Peter Dutton.
 Peter Dutton condemned Woolworths after it said it would not stock Australia Day merchandise. Image by Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS 

“We’re grateful to the police and fire brigade who attended,” they said in a statement to AAP.

“There’s no reason for vandalism and we’ll continue to liaise with Queensland Police.”

A crime scene has been declared and investigations are ongoing.

The attack came as Prime Minister Anthony Albanese warned federal Opposition Leader Peter Dutton to consider the impact his boycott call could have on supermarket employees.

On Thursday Mr Dutton took to the airwaves to condemn the grocery giant after Woolworths announced it would not stock Australia Day-themed paraphernalia due to declining sales over recent years.

Though the opposition leader has previously denounced “cancel culture”, he called on Australians to boycott Woolworths, decrying its decision as an “outrage” and “against the national interest”.

A Woolworths store.
 Peter Dutton’s been urged to consider supermarket workers, after calling for a Woolworths boycott. Image by Albert Perez/AAP PHOTOS 

Other retailers including Aldi and Kmart have also revealed they will not stock Australia Day merchandise.

Mr Albanese added to the conversation on Monday, warning Mr Dutton to think about workers.

“His big statement was to call for a boycott of Woolworths as well as I assume Aldi and Kmart – they employ over 200,000 Australians,” he told ABC radio.

“He needs to explain whether that boycott is forever, or whether it’s just until Australia Day and what the impact on those people who work for these companies will be.”

January 26 has become the subject of increasing scrutiny as more Australians oppose that date for Australia Day and recognise the sense of mourning from Indigenous communities, who have felt the impacts of colonisation since 1788.

In recent years, Invasion or Survival Day rallies have been strongly attended across all capital cities, but many Australians continue to enjoy January 26 festivities.

Rival supermarket chain Coles will continue to sell Australia Day items.