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“The recommendations handed down by former Labor Minister Dr Craig Emerson on how to ensure supermarkets are dealing with suppliers fairly, does not go far enough in dealing with the concentration of the supermarket sector. While imposing penalties for mistreating food suppliers is a good step to keep supermarkets in line, the failure to countenance divestiture reform means the two big supermarkets, Coles and Woolworths, can continue to get away with gouging consumers at the checkout. Divestiture powers, like the ones proposed by Member for Kennedy Bob Katter and myself, would reduce the market share of any supermarket to ensure the sector is competitive and fair.

“Moreover, this review fails to take into account price-setting practices, so it is presumptive to make recommendations until the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission provides its report.

“Finally, while Dr Emerson acknowledges it would be difficult to enforce penalties on supermarkets, there needs to be much stronger mechanisms in place, including an independent body that identifies and stamps out wrongdoing without the Government’s say-so.”