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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 7 Hansard (20 June) . . Page.. 1987 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

reasonable one-stop shopping at affordable prices. Mr Speaker, I have seen the outrageously untrue press release put out by Mr Whitecross - I suppose that that is a redundancy and unnecessary - or a release by Mr Whitecross suggesting that an average Canberra family would pay $13 more by having to shop outside the town centres.

Mr Speaker, the ACT Government has also done its own little survey, which found that the cheaper supermarkets are in a combination of local and group centres in this place. But I do not expect members opposite to believe the Government survey. I know that you do not believe what the Government says. So forget the Government survey. Ignore that. You will forgive us if we ignore your survey as well. I would ask you to take the word of Ros Kelly. Do you remember her? Do you remember her Price Watch surveys? Mr Speaker, every month, Mrs Kelly, the late lamented member for Canberra, would issue a Price Watch survey of the cheapest supermarkets in Canberra. As far as I can tell, the last one that she issued was the one that was published in the Canberra Times on 30 November 1994. What did she say was the cheapest supermarket in Canberra? Not - - -

Mr Moore: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: It has to be relevant. The supplementary question was about retail space and whether the Government is going to close group centres.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, the supplementary question was about why we are not restricting access to group centres. The reason why we are not restricting access to group centres is that the cheapest supermarket, according to Ros Kelly, at that time in 1994, was Jewel at Kaleen, in a group centre. A number of the cheaper supermarkets around Canberra, under the present survey done by the Government and under Ros Kelly, were group centre supermarkets. Mr Speaker, that is why we have not restricted access to those supermarkets.

Petrol Prices

MS FOLLETT: I have a question for Mr Humphries, who I see has gone to my hairdresser. I could have warned him about that. My question is to Mr Humphries in his capacity as Minister for Consumer Affairs, Mr Speaker. This is a serious issue. Minister, why are you continuing to take no action whatsoever to protect Canberra motorists from the continued and unwarranted price increases for petrol, even in the face of the NRMA's findings that Canberra prices rose a further 2c a litre in June - a month in which wholesale prices actually fell - and that Canberra prices are now more than 10c a litre higher than Melbourne prices? Mr Speaker, I would ask for leave to table the NRMA's statement on that matter.

Leave granted.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I thank Ms Follett for her question and for her advice about sources of hairdressing services. I have to say that I am surprised that Ms Follett does not ask me about why we have done nothing about the weather lately. It has been rather cool in the Territory lately, and we have not done anything at all about the weather.

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