Consultations and Reviews

Senate Select Committee Opens Submissions on Supermarket Prices

The Senate has established a Select Committee on Supermarket Prices, to inquire into and report on the price setting practices and market power of major supermarkets. The committee is seeking submissions that address the terms of reference by Friday, 2 February 2024 and the committee’s final report is due by 7 May 2024.

The terms of reference are:

To inquire into and report on the price setting practices and market power of major supermarkets, with particular reference to:

  • the effect of market concentration and the exercise of corporate power on the price of food and groceries;
  • the pattern of price setting between the two major supermarket chains;
  • rising supermarket profits and the large increase in price of essential items;
  • the prevalence of opportunistic pricing, price mark-ups and discounts that are not discounts;
  • the contribution of home brand products to the concentration of corporate power;
  • the use of technology and automation to extract cost-savings from consumers and employees;
  • improvements to the regulatory framework to deliver lower prices for food and groceries;
  • frameworks to protect suppliers when interacting with the major supermarkets;
  • the role of multinational food companies in price inflation; and
  • any other related matters.

The committee is seeking submissions from people detailing their experiences with the rising prices of essential food and groceries. The committee would also like to hear from retailers, primary producers, experts and academics in market power, competition policy and supply chains, and any other interested stakeholders.

Further information about the inquiry is available on the committee’s website. Published submissions and hearing programs will also be published on the website, once available.

To receive updates about the committee’s work you can use the Track Inquiry function on the right-hand side committee’s website.

Inquiry into Price Gouging and Unfair Prices

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) has recently announced an inquiry into price gouging and unfair pricing practices to be chaired by Professor Allan Fells AO. The impetus for the inquiry is rising inflation and serious concerns about cost of living, price gouging, and unfair pricing practices

The ACTU’s inquiry is currently open for submissions from those affected by price gouging, not-for-profit organisations, think-tanks, and academics. The inquiry itself will focus on:

  • The extent of price gouging facing working people on essential items,
  • The disproportionate effect experienced by cohorts of workers and vulnerable groups, and
  • The effect of price gouging on the safety and mental health of workers providing essential goods and services.

Submissions can be made here, and the report, once received by the ACTU, will be made public.