27 March 2024

ACCC Inquiry into Supermarkets

Ms WELLS (Lilley—Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Sport) (09:38): In recent weeks I have undertaken mobile offices across my electorate of Lilley, talking to locals about the Albanese government's commitment to an ambitious housing reform agenda and our promise to tackle the cost of living. Regardless of which suburb I am in, Lilley locals are telling me that they need help with housing affordability. One of my constituents, Andrew, who's 41 and lives in Nudgee, wrote to me to say:

My family lives in Nudgee and our rents have been increasing with no end in sight. We want to buy a home but savings and pay rises are being eaten up by rent increases and we are as far off as ever. This is after being pretty well off on a combined income over $200k. I can only imagine how tough it for average Aussies on less income and of the verge of homelessness. Please do something to help now.

I've heard you, Andrew, and the Albanese Labor government has heard you too. The Help to Buy shared-equity scheme will support up to 40,000 Australian households to purchase a home of their own. Under the scheme, the Commonwealth will provide to eligible participants an equity contribution of up to 40 per cent of the purchase price for new homes and 30 per cent for existing homes. This is along with Labor's tax cuts which will ensure that 82,000 Lilley constituents will receive on average an extra $1,632 in their pockets from 1 July. The government understands that affordable housing is crucial and critical to economic wellbeing, and the government is committed to supporting more Australians to access housing.

As the member of the Lilley, another issue that's raised with me every single day is the cost of groceries. The weekly grocery shop should not be a luxury purchase, but Lilley locals are not paying fair prices at the till, and too many families are struggling to buy the essentials. To hold the big supermarkets to account, the Albanese government has directed the ACCC to shine a light on this sector. This inquiry is about making sure that our supermarkets are as competitive as they can be, to ensure that we get the best and fairest prices possible. The time to have your say on this issue is now. I would urge every affected northsider to share how the cost of groceries has affected your household budget and what your biggest concerns about the supermarkets are. Please make sure that you share your experience before the ACCC supermarket consumer survey closes on 2 April, which is Tuesday. And you can find the survey on the ACCC website.

With my remaining time, may I wish the Brisbane Lions all the very best of luck against Collingwood tomorrow night.