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“There’s no denying Australians are feeling the pinch right now, especially when it comes to one of our most basic needs, the ability to buy food to feed the family. So one obvious area where the Federal Government can make a big difference in reducing the cost of living is reigning in the supermarket duopoly that has dominated the food retail market for way too long.

“Coles and Woolworths control more than 65 per cent of Australia’s grocery market and this has generated eye watering profits. For instance in 2022-23, Coles and Woolworths pocketed a staggering $1.1 billion and $1.62 billion in net profits respectively. In other words, while people are paying more and struggling desperately to put food on the table for their families, and while producers and farmers are grappling to keep their doors open and earn a liveable income, Coles and Woolworths are raking in the big bucks. This is simply unconscionable.

“It’s the ineffective regulations and enforcement mechanisms that have got us to where we are now. Indeed the Grocery Code of Conduct is a joke with no penalties, and our inadequate consumer laws do little to stop the duopoly engaging in practices such as unfair pricing, misleading conduct regarding ‘specials’, and undercutting producers and suppliers with minimal consequences.

“While it was welcome when the Government announced last month that it would direct the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to conduct an inquiry into Australia’s supermarket sector, more needs to be done to rein in the supermarket duopoly and reduce costs for Australians putting food on the table.

“I welcome and am seconding the Member for Kennedy’s bill to reduce the market share of any supermarket to no more than 20 per cent, via enforced and progressive divestiture over five years. This will promote more competition between the supermarkets, help drive down prices for consumers and bring Australia into line with similar countries.”