Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 13 Hansard (11 November) . . Page.. 4891..
MR SESELJA (continuing):
allow us to vote for a motion asserting it to be so. It picks up, obviously, a number of the elements of our motion going through but then misses the point when it calls on the government to clarify the definition of "controlled by a major wholesaler". That is part of the issue, but it does not actually go to the other issues which have been raised, which presumably the Greens are not concerned about-that is, issues around whether or not a supermarket operator has 10 years as a full-line supermarket.
There are two issues: first, as the ACCC has noted, why would you introduce an artificial constraint like that? Why would we want to limit competition in that way to stop people who have not quite done 10 years in supermarkets actually coming in? Second, there is still confusion as to how a full-line supermarket will exactly be interpreted. This proposed amendment from the Greens considerably waters down the process. It muddies the waters; it makes assertions that I certainly cannot attest to the veracity of, and I do not think the Assembly should be either; it misses a number of the serious concerns with the supermarket review which have been raised by local small business owners, local IGA owners in particular.
I think this is a relatively poorly worded amendment. I think it is unfortunate that the Greens have now got into the habit of not providing such amendments with a bit of time to discuss them and just gutting motions and replacing them with something else. Presumably, if the government supports this, it will be because they see it as, once again, being less onerous and less of a process and giving them more flexibility to do what they will with-
At 6 pm, in accordance with standing order 34, the debate was interrupted. The motion for the adjournment of the Assembly having been put and negatived, the debate was resumed.
MR SESELJA: So we cannot support this amendment for the reasons outlined. This amendment has only just been circulated, and it does not address all of the issues. It certainly does not address the issues around some of the artificial constraints on competition that are being proposed here. It does not address all of the concerns that have been raised by these supermarkets. It makes assertions which I certainly cannot sign off on, because I have been given no definitive information that would allow us particularly to sign off on the assertion that the ACCC has been consulted through the Martin review process.
I would make the general point that there was absolutely nothing wrong with this motion as brought forward by the Liberal Party. There was no real critique of it put forward by the Greens, and, indeed, even Mr Stanhope seemed to be agreeing with most of it, although claiming it was being done. So it is difficult to see what part of it the Labor Party and the Greens are voting against. Of course, they will be voting against all of the words that we have put in; they will be voting against what was a broad motion, a well-considered motion and a motion that reflected the concerns of many local small business owners. Those concerns are being rejected here if this amendment goes ahead, and we will not be supporting it.
MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra-Chief Minister, Minister for Transport, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Business and Economic Development,