Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 9 Hansard (23 August) . . Page.. 3648..
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Supermarket competition policy
MS LE COUTEUR: My question is to the Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development and it relates to supermarket competition policy and the recent call-in of the Giralang shops DA. Given the importance of the legal application of supermarket policy to planning decisions, as raised by the chief planning executive with respect to Giralang and revealed publicly with the FOI, how can these matters now be resolved, as there cannot be an appeal to ACAT?
MR CORBELL: I am unclear as to what matters Ms Le Couteur is specifically referring to.
MR SPEAKER: Ms Le Couteur, would you like to clarify your question?
MS LE COUTEUR: I have not read all of the FOIs, as they are about that thick. Mr Savery had a number of issues about how other policies related to planning—supermarket policy in particular.
MR CORBELL: I am afraid that I cannot answer the question, Mr Speaker, because I just do not understand what Ms Le Couteur is specifically referring to.
MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Le Couteur?
MS LE COUTEUR: Does the government's modelling of the impact of a supermarket proposal take into account whether the operator is a major supermarket or an independent retailer, given that this could affect the customer base?
MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, in relation to the planning approval, who the operator is of the supermarket is not a relevant consideration.
MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Ms Hunter?
MS HUNTER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, does the government predict any contraction in the trade of neighbouring supermarkets and shopping centres?
MR CORBELL: The government thinks that competition in the supermarket sector in this part of Belconnen is a good thing. It is a good thing for consumers. It is a good thing for the residents of Giralang to have their own shopping centre again. That is why I determined that the application should be called in and determined by me to end the uncertainty in relation to the delivery of a supermarket for that community.
In relation to the impact on other supermarkets—
Ms Le Couteur: On a point of order, Mr Speaker, Ms Hunter asked a specific question which the minister has not attempted to answer.