Page 3549 - Week 08 - Friday, 24 August 2012

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Friday, 24 August 2012

MR SPEAKER (Mr Rattenbury) took the chair at 10 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

ACT Supermarket Competition Policy—Select Committee


MS LE COUTEUR (Molonglo) (10.01): Pursuant to the order of the Assembly of 22 September 2011, as amended on 29 March 2012 and 7 June 2012, I present the following report:

ACT Supermarket Competition Policy—Select Committee—Report—Inquiry into ACT Supermarket Competition Policy, dated August 2012, including additional comments (Ms Le Couteur, Mr Seselja), together with a copy of the relevant minutes of proceedings.

I move:

That the report be noted.

I must, of course, start off by thanking the committee secretary, Mr Andrew Snedden, and the various assistant secretaries and helpers—Dr Michael Sloane, Ms Kate Harkins and Ms Lydia Chung. I also thank my fellow committee members, Mr John Hargreaves—who was not there from the beginning but was there for all of the time we deliberated and had public hearings—and Mr Zed Seselja.

This committee came about because of considerable public interest in the issue of supermarket competition and the resulting impacts on shopping centres in Canberra. It was a result of two motions which were amended and passed as one. The committee made 18 recommendations, and I will briefly go through the main ones. There were also additional comments from both me and Mr Seselja.

We talked a lot about the supermarket competition policy and the supermarket policy implementation plan. One of our first few recommendations was around transparency and better public information about this. We have asked that more information about the implementation plans be included in future annual reports from the Minister for Economic Development and in the reports of the Economic Development Directorate.

We suggested there should be a review of the supermarket competition policy. We noted that this was developed by the late John Martin, and that the retail environment had changed since its implementation in October 2009. It would seem reasonable that this be reviewed by this stage. We made a general comment in recommendation 6 that the retail hierarchy, which has been part of Canberra planning for the last 50 years or so, be incorporated in the supermarket competition policy implementation plan.

We spent some time considering supermarket floor space limits for different tiers of centres, and we made a number of recommendations about this. First we

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