THE head of Coles, on a salary of some $15 million, would have been laughing all the way to the bank last week to pay the $60,000 fine for advertising fruit brought in from overseas as “Aussie-grown” straight after their promise to North Qld growers to use more local produce.
This comes fresh after revelations of their “baked daily” bread from Europe, or their “freshly cut” flowers from places like Kenya, Vietnam and Ecuador – situations which cause great embarrassment for employees who are completely innocent in this mess.
Under laws KAP has put to Parliament, Coles could have been fined half-a-million dollars for not having a label on fruit and produce to warn consumers of the risks from food produced in conditions not to Australian health and hygiene standards.
But this is not enough to combat the supermarket giants’ insatiable appetite for expansion beyond their colossal market share, climbing to 90 per cent and killing off competition and obliterating local small businesses as they open oversized and unprofitable stores in growth areas and rural centres.
Which is why KAP has also introduced laws stating that it is illegal to own more than 20 per cent market share within a group of companies (addressing also the intrusion into hardware, liquor and petrol retail markets, department stores, office supplies, licensed venues and gaming, plus operations in financial services, credit cards, coal mining, energy and investment banking).
Because at the moment they control everything and we no longer have a choice. They pay our farmers what little they like and charge us consumers as much as they like.
We’re already paying dearly for the flood of cheap foreign produce imported at the expense of Australian jobs and industries.
Members of the political duopoly which controls Australia should be voting for laws like ours to support their communities, rather than kowtowing to their corporate-controlled parties. But they’re not.
Hon Bob Katter MP
KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy