Coles calls Katter’s supermarket bill ‘extremist’

Coles managing director, Ian Mcleod has come back at Independent MP, Bob Katter, claiming that his new Reducing Supermarket Dominance Bill 2013 is extremist.

As reported by SHM, Mcleod says that the dramatic reduction in market share would not help consumers.

"This sort of protectionist politics that's taking place in certain parts of the country is extremist and it's not going to help Australia one iota," Mr McLeod told an Australian National Retailers' Association (ANRA) lunch in Sydney yesterday.

Under the new bill, the nation’s two supermarket giants would have to decrease their market share to no larger than 20 percent each within a six year period. This would force both Coles and Woolworths to sell up half of their stores as they currently share 80 of the Australian grocery market.

Managing director of Woolworths Australia, Tjeerd Jegen said that the proposed bill was ill-conceived and stated that the timing of the bill was conveniently close to election time.

"Some people would like to be re-elected and they need attention to get into the picture," he said.

"A strong national retail industry in Australia can provide jobs, help customers save money and also be there for the future, so I think that's what government should be focused on."

Katter's bill is said to have received backing from fellow independents including Nick Xenophon and Andrew Wilkie.


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