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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 6 Hansard (6 May) . . Page.. 2021..

(b) expedite the release of its revised supermarket policy, taking into account ACCC recommendations;

(c) ensure that ACTPLA and Land Development Agency processes, including land sales and masterplanning, take the abovementioned ACCC recommendation on competition and the revised supermarket policy into account; and

(d) ensure that ACTPLA continues to consider in the development assessment process the impact on small business for large new commercial developments.".

The amendments circulated in my name delete paragraphs (1)(b) and (3)(b) and reword other parts of paragraph (3).

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Minister for Transport, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Minister for the Arts and Heritage) (5.06): I wish to endorse and support the comments that the Minister for Planning has just made in relation to this particular issue. I want to really focus on just the one issue in relation to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission recommendations in its recent report in relation to competitiveness of retail prices of standard groceries and to endorse and support the commentary of the Minister for Planning in relation to this important issue. I think we are all aware of the importance of competition, particularly within the retail grocery market, and some of the issues that all jurisdictions face in relation to ensuring competition in that particular market and the policy that should surround supermarket competition policy.

Mr Barr has referred to a supermarket competition policy which this government has adopted. As it stands, the ACT government believes that Canberrans are best served by diverse and competitive retail growth in a supermarket sector that supports consumer choice and convenience. In considering the use or sale of land for grocery supermarkets, the ACT government will take into account the capacity of a retailer to access suitable sites, as well as the nature of the benefits a particular type of supermarket may bring, such as product diversity, quality of service, environmental gains, integration with existing retail and commercial centres, footprint and car parking.

We are, as the minister said—this was the point that I wanted to go to—currently reviewing that policy and its potential for practical application, taking into account and having regard to the recent endorsement by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission of the role which governments at all levels can play. This is, I think, a significant challenge which the ACCC has set us. We do have a policy; we have a policy which seeks to ensure that there is a diverse competitive retail grocery supermarket policy. We have support from the Australian Competition Consumer Commission which reflects the role which government can and I believe should take or make in relation to ensuring that our systems and our capacity to enhance and support competition are pursued. We as a government, through work that the Minister for Planning just mentioned, are doing that.

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