Local Liberal-National Party (LNP) members in the seat of Wright passed an urgent resolution on the weekend calling on the Federal Government to amend the Competition and Consumer Act.
Federal Member for Wright Scott Buchholz MP said the amendment would provide the ACCC with divesture powers to disperse monopolies that engage in undermining competition.
Ever increasing food prices are a classic example of the manipulation forced upon the hardworking mums, dads and growers of my electorate of Wright and surrounding areas who would benefit from this amendment, Mr Buchholz said.
Food prices in Australia have risen by 189 per cent over the past 30 years, while in comparison, food prices in the United States and Britain have risen by more than 120 per cent, and in Canada they have only increased only 90 per cent, he said.
Growers throughout Wright work hard to protect Australias food security – they want to produce more and I will continue to fight for the reduction in red tape and an increase in prices for farmers at the farm gate. This is no longer an issue that we can or should ignore.
Mr Buchholz went on to say that with the majority of the market share dominated by two companies, more needs to be done to improve the competitiveness for farmgate prices.
Not only for the families of Wright, but also for our horticulture farmers who are keen to continue our reputation as the food bowl of Australia, Mr Buchholz said.
The lack of competitive ability is also evident in the lack of innovation, with labour productivity just 60 per cent of the US and UK market. The more companies we have the more opportunity we have for a fair, open and transparent market, he said.
It’s time the ACCC had the full armoury of weapons to use against anti-competitive conduct, Mr Buchholz said.