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Deregulation Chairman under fire

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Media Release Tuesday 19 May, 1998

( Deregulation)Chairman Under Fire


“Senator Ron Boswell is not a lone voice calling for the National Competition Council, Chairman, Graeme Samuel to restrain him self from using a public address to pressure the states into a mode o f total deregulation” , said Mr Alan McKenzie a spokesperson for the National Association for Retail Grocers in Australia (NARGA).

“W e commend Senator Ron Boswell for his perceptive comments during an address in the Senate on 13 May, 1998, where he questioned the way in which the Chairman o f the NCC used ‘unveiled threats’ as to loss o f funding for the states as a means to force legislative total deregulation for the Australian economy.

“It appears Mr Graeme Samuel has used a speech to the Property Council o f Australia on 21 April, 1998 in Adelaide to wave his sixteen billion dollar funding carrot and attempt to hasten and mould legislative changes in the states.

“Total deregulation w ill have adverse consequences for retail and other small businesses around the countiy. Where is the public benefit in allowing three major chain supermarkets to control nearly 80% o f the retail grocery market at the expense

o f small retailers and rural and regional infrastructure?” asks M r McKenzie.

“We can not see any public benefit in allowing a retail oligopoly to control A ustralia’s producers and close down Australia’s small retailers in the nam e o f competition,” said M r McKenzie.

“We hope more concerned Australians, like Senator Boswell, will eventually educate the NCC that their drive towards total deregulation, can in fact be operating against the public interest,” said M r McKenzie.

NARGA directly represents 10,000 small and independent retailers in an industry sector which comprises 65,000 stores and employs an estimated 250,000 Australians.

For more information, contact Mr Alan McKenzie phi (02) 9208 1560