The Essential Services Commission would have the power to crack down on supermarkets profiteering from essential items like groceries under a Greens’ plan to tackle rising food prices.
According to Treasury data, the cost of food and non-alcoholic beverages in SA has increased by 8 per cent over the last year and Foodbank have recorded a 57 per cent increase in families visiting their food hubs.
The Greens are calling for the State Government to:
- Declare groceries a regulated industry
- Give the Essential Services Commission the power to place price controls on essential items like food
- Provide new subsidies to local farmers, food producers and small grocery retailers to ensure ongoing access to fresh produce and essential items, particularly in regional communities.
“It’s appalling that more and more South Australians are struggling with the rising costs of food, while Coles and Woolies are continuing to make huge profits. The State Government has the power to intervene to get food prices under control, it’s time for them to take action,” said Greens Treasury Spokesperson, Robert Simms MLC.
“The Essential Services Commission has the power to regulate essential services like water, sewerage, gas, rail and maritime services. Under the Greens plan, groceries would be declared a regulated industry, with the Commission given new powers to place controls on prices to protect South Australians from unfair hikes. No one should have to struggle to buy food, particularly as we head into the festive season.”
“As part of the plan, the Greens are also calling for local farmers, food producers and small grocery retailers to have access to a new subsidies program to ensure the ongoing viability of their businesses and the state’s access to quality, local produce. This is particularly important for people living in regional communities where there are limited grocery stores available. The subsidies could be funded by increasing the royalties paid by mining companies.”
Mr Simms will table a motion in Parliament next week, calling for the Government to action the plan.