Anger over retail hours deregulation

20 Mar, 2008 05:20 PM
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NATIONAL Party MLA Terry Redman has called on the State Government not to deregulate retail trading hours, saying farmers will suffer with lower prices at the farm gate.

Mr Redman said one of his passions was maintaining a political environment in WA that helps sustain a strong independent retail sector.

“The independent sector is the one that produces a level of competition within the marketplace and are strong supporters of locally produced product in WA,” Mr Redman said.

Mr Redman said the independent sellers produce a level of competition in the market and are strong supporters of locally produced products in WA.

“Brands such as Q Lamb and lot of local horticultural products would never have got going without the independent sector backing them,” he said

“If they tried to sell products with the big supermarket chains they either can’t get deals or price is screwed down.”

Mr Redman said he is pushing the issue of market dominance to his Federal Parliament colleagues.

“The Trade Practices Act needs to be amended to stop issues of predatory pricing and unconscionable conduct,” he said.

“In the absence of that, we need to do something on a state level and that is where the trading hours issue comes in.”

WAFarmers president Trevor De Landgrafft agreed and said farmers line up with smaller businesses in rural towns.

“If these smaller businesses are to compete with the larger supermarkets they have to have some sort of competitive edge and if you would allow the large supermarkets, whether they are in smaller towns or in capital cities, to dominate it will actually create extra costs,” he said.

“Supermarkets do drive down prices to farmers, without a doubt, and while they are competing only with each other, they tend to coexist.

“Deregulating shopping hours will take away the advantage the smaller businesses currently have over the bigger companies in terms of being able to stay open later, or on a Sunday.”

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