Bob Katter the member for Kennedy in Northern Queensland says that the corporate culture of major supermarkets in Australia need to be properly investigated, as he believes they’re close to breaching the criminal code.
Woolworths is in court this week fighting allegations of unconscionable conduct over its Mind the Gap Scheme, demanding extra payments of $60 million to plug up a profit hole.
Bob Katter suggests this is an abuse of power that borders on criminality, as supermarket chains pressure “the little guy” to fill the profit void that has appeared.
“If this Woolworth’s case is correct and the 2014 case against Coles is correct (the ACCC found Coles also mistreated suppliers asking for payments to plug profit gaps) and they can tell suppliers – we want money off you, or else…. That is getting very close to breaching the ‘criminal’ code,” said Mr Katter.
Mr Katter was highly impressed that the ACCC was following up the case with rigorous vigour and attempting to correct the situation.
“The country owes a great debt of gratitude to Rod Simms (ACCC), who quite frankly has been the only public official elected, or non-elected that has had the moral and intellectual integrity and courage to do what he can against what he perceives to be clearly an appalling example of oligarchist power and alleged misbehaviour,” said Mr Katter.
Mr Katter has always thought that the market size that the major Australian supermarkets control is too large, presenting problems for farmers and suppliers.
“Clearly we need anti-trust legislation like the Robinson-Patman Act in the United States to break up these huge conglomerates. A maximum percentage and that should also restrict foreign supermarkets down to a maximum of 5%,” said Mr Katter.