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Man charged following Woolworths vandalism, PM doubles-down on criticism of Dutton's "boycott" calls

Jarred Cross -

A man has been charged with alleged offences relating to the vandalism of a Woolworths store in Brisbane's inner suburbs following the supermarket group's move not to stock Australia Day-related merchandise in 2024.

On Monday, a Woolies Metro in Teneriffe was spray painted with the messages "5 days 26 Jan Aussie Oi Oi Woolies F*** U", and "Boycott Woolies".

A flare was also set off inside, causing a fire alarm to be activated.

Following investigations, a 40-year-old man from Ormiston was arrested on Monday evening.

He was charged with one count each of wilful damage and wilful damage by graffiti for the alleged offences and is expected to face court in February.

The incident at the store came after opposition leader Peter Dutton last week urged consumers to "boycott" Woolworths the groups decision away from stocking Australia Day products, which he labelled an "outrage" and an example of subscribing to the Prime Minister's "woke agenda".

On Tuesday morning, Anthony Albanese said Mr Dutton was "always looking for a culture war".

"I find it bizarre that the so-called party of the free market is calling for a boycott of a company that employs 200,000 Australians," the Prime Minister during his own radio interview on Sydney's 2SM.

"Now think about the implications of this. If everyone boycotted Woolworths, it's 200,000 people who would lose their jobs.

"It's an extraordinary overreach by a guy in order to make a point on a radio interview. It's just extraordinary and an example of how Peter Dutton will say anything without thinking through the implications of it."

It backed up similar comments Mr Albanese made a day earlier.

Later in the interview, the Prime Minister distanced himself from recent local council decisions not to host citizenship ceremonies on the controversial public holiday - calls he said were largely made outside of Labor seats.

He said he hoped the opposition leader joined him in attending formal events on January 26.

"I hope that Peter Dutton turns up this year to the national commemorations and the Australia Day Awards...I'll be attending those events and I think they're important events," Mr Albanese said.

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