17 June 2013: LAWS to smash the supermarket giants stranglehold on Australia’s grocery retailing and food production industries were introduced to Parliament today by KAP Federal Leader and Member for Kennedy Bob Katter.
Mr Katter has challenged the corporate-controlled ALP-LNP parties to respect the overwhelming majority of the Aussie people’s wishes to rein in the inexorable march of the supermarket oligopoly, by voting for his Reducing Supermarket Dominance Bill 2013.
The legislation forces the supermarket giants to reduce their colossal market share to no more than 20 per cent each within six years, with a Food Retailing Commissioner ensuring compliance or hefty fines.
“The Americans are screaming blue murder because WalMart and their competitor have now reached about 23 per cent market share. Here we have two supermarkets with a market share of over 80 per cent, so if they decide to cut down the amount of money they are going to pay farmers and jack up the price to the consumers, they can, because there is no competition,” said Mr Katter.
“We have to preserve what little competition weve got left so that we can get a fair go. It is vitally important to head off the untrammelled greed of the supermarket giants.
“Because once they have obliterated all other retail competition, along with our food production industries that can’t compete with cheap overseas labour and an artificially inflated Aussie dollar, thanks to our successive free-market obsessed governments, then they will be able to charge us whatever they want for inferior product.
“The KAPs supermarket laws are among three legislative pillars introduced by Mr Katter in a bid to restore power to Australia’s food producers, small businesses and consumers against the might of a supermarket share concentration unseen anywhere else in the world.”
Also currently before the parliament are Mr Katter’s Imported Food Warning Labels Bill 2013, to warn consumers that food imported from other countries could be produced in conditions that pose tis to human health; as well as the Dairy Industry (Drinking Milk) Bill 2011 to give dairy farmers decimated by the supermarket giants milk price wars and governments’ industry deregulation, the right to collectively bargain for a fair price.
And nothing whatsoever is being done by the Australian Government, Mr Katter said.
“This has been going on for far too long. The history books will read that the people who served in this House from 1991 2013 should hang their heads in shame because they sat on their hands when they had a chance to protect the second most important commodity on Earth behind water, our food.
“So while MPs bicker over who should lead; the consumers are forking out more for food, and food producers and farmers are annihilated in the process,” said Mr Katter.