Feb 21, 2008

Submissions called for Grocery Prices Inquiry

The Rudd Labor Government recently announced details of two election commitments in relation to grocery and petrol prices.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) National Grocery Prices Inquiry

Anthony Albanese MP is encouraging people to make a submission to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) National Grocery Prices Inquiry.

The Howard Government’s failure to act on 20 Reserve Bank warnings is impacting on prices across Australia.

The Rudd Labor Government wants to know if more can be done to ensure working families have access to a competitive market for basic food items.

“We want to ensure working families are getting a fair deal at the supermarket.”

“There is no question that families are under pressure with food inflation in Australia rising by 43.6% over the last decade compared to 25.1% in the US and 11.6% in the UK.”

“The Rudd Labor Government has instructed the ACCC to take a broad approach to its inquiry and ensure all aspects of the supermarket supply chain are included – from the farm gate to the checkout counter,” Anthony Albanese said.

In undertaking the inquiry, the ACCC will consult widely with retailers, businesses along the supply chain, farmers, consumer groups and other interested parties.

The ACCC is required to report to the Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer by 31 July 2008.

The ACCC has released an issues paper on matters relevant to its inquiry into the competitiveness of retail prices for standard groceries.

For more information on how to make a submission or for a copy of the issues paper please go to the ACCC website www.accc.gov.au or call the ACCC Infocentre on 1300 302 502. Submissions close with the ACCC by Tuesday, 11 March 2008.

Petrol Commissioner

Earlier in the week the government also announced Mr Pat Walker as the Rudd Government’s nominee for the new Petrol Commissioner.

The full-time commissioner will predominantly be responsible for overseeing the ACCC’s monitoring of the fuel prices in Australia as well providing an annual report on the ACCC’s findings.

The new commissioner will hit the ground running with a lot of work to be done in response to the ACCC inquiry in the price of unleaded petrol including:

  • undertaking a more detailed examination and on-going monitoring of buy–sell arrangements;
  • completing an audit of terminals suitable for importing refined petrol into Australia, covering terminal capacity, use and leasing and sharing arrangements; and
  • providing on-going monitoring of the use, leasing and sharing of terminals suitable for importing refined petrol into Australia.

The government is continuing to look seriously at the options raised by the ACCC in its recent report on petrol prices, including measures to increase retail price transparency.

“I look forward to seeing the outcome of the work that will be done by the Petrol Commissioner,” said Anthony Albanese.