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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 14 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 5009 ..

MS GALLAGHER (continuing):

because, in terms of day-to-day education for children with additional needs, all the support required for them to participate in their education is provided.

Specialist services, on top of that, which may flow over into Minister Wood's portfolio, are another matter. But in terms of participation in education, I am confident that every child who has additional needs is being catered for in our education system. I will be happy to forward you a copy of the response I send when I get the advice.

Aldi supermarkets-location

MS TUCKER: My question is to Mr Corbell. In regard to the direct sale of land to Aldi supermarkets in West Belconnen and South Tuggeranong, you made pertinent comments on the different cost of supermarket goods in different parts of Australia. So, clearly, cost to consumers was one of the factors you considered in making the choice to encourage Aldi to expand its operations in the ACT.

Could you advise the Assembly what further analysis was undertaken on the social and environmental impact of that decision-in particular, whether a similar comparison was made of the number of local residents, employment figures, environmental impacts of the nature of the products, buying policy and so on as opposed to local supermarkets such as the IGA?

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, those are all issues which the government sought to take into account in making its decision to direct-grant the land to Aldi for those two supermarket sites. I cannot provide to Ms Tucker a comprehensive study that deals with the environmental impact of direct-granting land to Aldi supermarkets.

But the government did take account of the impact that Aldi supermarkets would have in terms of retailing in established areas of Canberra. For example, it is well recognised-and the government certainly took this on board-that Aldi supermarkets provide competition in the retail sector in a way which is different from those supermarkets that provide a broader range of products, particularly local supermarkets. Mr Speaker, it is well recognised that they have an impact on Woolworths and Coles retailing, and Coles and Woolworths quite openly admit that they discount when they have an Aldi in the market.

In relation to employment, I would have thought that overall there was going to be a net gain in employment. That was certainly the assumption the government made, and we think a not unreasonable one, that there would be a net gain in employment. Equally, locating Aldi supermarkets at group centres would reinforce the arrangement of retailing services across the territory and would not act to detrimentally undermine lower order retailing, which I think is the point Ms Tucker is trying to make.

Mr Speaker, overall the government considered that the direct sale of land to Aldi at both Conder and Kippax supported the existing retail structure in the city, supported a greater diversity of jobs in those centres and further supported greater discounting of groceries, which is of ultimate benefit to the Canberra community. It was those value judgments which the government made in coming to that decision.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Tucker?

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