06/08/2008 - 11:18

Grocery inquiry backs WA trading reform

06/08/2008 - 11:18

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The Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA has used the corporate watchdog's inquiry into grocery prices to back its calls for a reform to the state's "archaic" retail trading hours.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA has used the corporate watchdog's inquiry into grocery prices to back its calls for a reform to the state's "archaic" retail trading hours.

A report released by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission yesterday found there was not enough competition among supermarkets.

CCIWA said the inquiry provided further evidence why the state's trading hours laws need to be urgently brought into the 21st century.

The business organization said the laws stand in the way of lower prices and unfairly restrict choice, competition and innovation.

"The ACCC has found Australia's independent supermarkets fail to take up the fight to their competitors by lowering prices," CCIWA said in a statement.

"It is these supermarkets that under the State's current trading laws are allowed to trade on Sundays and weeknights while their competitors can't.

"As a result, it is Western Australian consumers who are being punished by paying more than they should for food and groceries.

"It's a claim supported by recent data released by the Australia Bureau of Statistics showing that Western Australian shoppers pay the most for food and groceries than those in other states."

Last month, CCIWA claimed a basket of groceries purchased in Perth will cost a shopper nearly $260, making the city the second most expensive capital for food and groceries.

Meanwhile the federal government has today launched GROCERYchoice to help consumers fund the cheapest supermarket in their area.

In the northern area of Perth, the website showed that an average basket of groceries would cost $159 at Coles/Bi-Lo, $157.20 at Woolworths/Safeway and $166.44 at independent grocers.

In the southern suburbs, a basket of good will cost $157.89 at Coles/Bi-Lo, $161.05 at Woolworths/Safeway and $170.19 at the independents.

The site is updated once a month and can be viewed at grocerychoice.gov.au

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