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Labor too slow to act on supermarkets report

An inquiry into Price Gouging and Unfair Pricing Practices reinforces that the Federal Labor
Government was too slow to act on supermarkets.
Leader of The Nationals David Littleproud said Professor Allan Fels’ recommendations,
indicating supermarkets are taking advantage of shoppers, come after The Nationals called
for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to be directed to
investigate the clear evidence of meat and fresh produce price disparity between the
farmgate and the checkout prices since November 2023.
The Nationals also offered the government support to introduce big stick legislation as early
as December 2022.
The inquiry recommends Labor uses its powers to require the ACCC to conduct more price
and market investigations, require the ACCC to undertake market studies and that the ACCC
should have the power of its own to initiate price and market studies. Mr Littleproud said it
was obvious for some time that an ACCC inquiry has been needed.
“The latest report into supermarket price gouging confirms what we already know –
government policy, or Labor, is not paying sufficient attention to high prices and it needs
to,” Mr Littleproud said.
“Labor could have started the ACCC investigation before Christmas but didn’t understand
the scale nor severity of their cost-of-living crisis.
“While Labor spent last year distracted on a $450 million failed Voice Referendum, price
disparity between the farmgate and the supermarket checkout was allowed to escalate out
of control.
“The Nationals wanted this investigation urgently before Christmas but Labor was simply
too slow to take action and in fact said that the Grocery Code of Conduct Review was their
solution, which took 100 days to appoint someone since its announcement. It’s unfortunate
it took Labor so long to realise that these powers exist, after previously promising
Australians that two other inquiries they announced would yield results.”

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