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Monday, 21 February 2011
Page: 622

Mr BRUCE SCOTT (1:54 PM) —I rise today to express my disappointment in supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths, who are continuing to sell their own-brand milk for $1 per litre. My electorate of Maranoa has a large number of family owned dairy farms and smaller family owned local stores, who are being hurt by this unconscionable trade practice of these supermarket giants. I want to ask members of this House: are you on the side of dairy farmers and the small businesses or are you on the side of the supermarket price bullies Coles and Woolworths? That is the fundamental question for this House.

The action of the supermarket giants in using their own-brand milk as a loss-leader not only has the potential to destroy family dairy farmers but is already impacting on many local stores in our country towns. They must be brought to account. I wonder if the managers of Coles and Woolworths take the time to think about our hardworking dairy farmers, who rise at 4 o’clock in the morning and work until late at night, and about the small country convenience stores that are always open when you run short of something. Do they think of them when they are buying their cafe latte on the way to their board meeting? No, I don’t think they do. It is about time these supermarket giants were brought to account. I call on this parliament to make sure we are on the side of family owned businesses: the dairy farms and those many small convenience stores. (Time expired)