Victory for people in battle against supermarket giants
KAP Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter has welcomed a court’s rejection of extended trading hours for supermarket giants in the North Qld town of Ingham as a win for independent grocers, farmers, and the communities they support in their ‘David and Goliath’ battle for survival across Australia.
Mr Katter, who joined local and state government representatives and local retailers to protest the extended trading application at a Queensland Industrial Relations Commission hearing early this year, said the supermarket giants were destroying rural areas – and Sunday trading would only accentuate their stranglehold on our communities.
“The supermarket giants already have more than enough opportunity to make their billion-dollar profits. Do we really want them to have unrestricted access?” he said.
“Whilst we might all like 24 hour trading in every store, of course your independent grocers will be run out of town because they can’t compete against the power of the big supermarket chains… and then we have no after-hours trading at all except in a very limited way, such as service stations.
“Ingham has a small but very real small fruit and vegetable industry, and of course they are mercilessly crucified when there are only two buyers in the markets – the giant supermarket chains.
“So to preserve what little competition we’ve got left in the marketplace so that we can get a fair go for our farmers, it is vitally important to head off the untrammelled greed of the giant supermarket chains.
“So we are very pleased with the court’s decision and we thank the then-mayor and state member for their support in this battle.”
Mr Katter also paid particular tribute to Ingham Supa IGA proprietors Anthony and Louise Zaghini for standing up to the supermarket giants, and noted that it was similar support by local retailers and independent grocers that had previously proved critical in winning the fight against banana imports.
“Tony and Louise fought a terrific fight which demonstrates that no matter how small you are, it’s the size of the fight in the dog, not the size of the dog in the fight, and we congratulate them most sincerely,” he said. “And our community will stand firm on this issue now and in the future.”
The QIRC decision is available online.