‘Public opinion matters’: PM warns Coles and Woolies

Consumer groups describe member-only prices at major supermarkets as unfair and inappropriate.

Consumer groups describe member-only prices at major supermarkets as unfair and inappropriate. Photo: AAP

Pressure is mounting on Australia’s two largest supermarket chains to “do the right thing” by customers, Anthony Albanese says.

Households are buckling under the weight of high food prices, prompting an intervention from Labor.

The government has directed the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to review prices and competition in the sector.

It appointed former Labor minister Craig Emerson to review the effectiveness of the grocery code of conduct.

The prime minister said giants Coles and Woolworths knew “public opinion matters to their business”.

“There’ll be pressure on the supermarkets to do the right thing,” he told Hit WA radio.

“The pressure has built over a period of time.”

Albanese said when farmers were getting less for their products, people should “quite clearly” be paying less at the check out.

“We have stood up for customers, stood up for farmers as well,” he said.

Greens senator Nick McKim is leading a parliamentary inquiry into supermarket prices.

Nationals leader David Littleproud has called for divestiture powers to help increase competition in the sector.

“Let’s bring forward all those reviews 12 months earlier and actually give the ACCC the powers they need,” he told Seven’s Sunrise.

“We need to come together as legislators, put aside politics and bring in divestiture powers which would strip these big supermarkets of some of their chains and in fact, even in a geographical level, might even see that some of their stores have to be sold off to competitors to increase competition.”


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