Economy

Jacqui Lambie creates her own political party; Most Australians think supermarket competition is “not healthy”: Midday Roundup

Kirsten Robb /

Senator Jacqui Lambie has followed in the footsteps of her former boss Clive Palmer by establishing her own political party.

The ABC reports Lambie has applied to register her party, the Jacqui Lambie Network, with the Australian Electoral Commission. In turn, the AEC has issued notices about the application in Tasmanian newspapers, giving members of the public until the end of April to lodge any objections.

Lambie resigned from the Palmer United Party in November 2014.

Lambie’s chief of staff Rob Messneger told the ABC the Jacqui Lambie Network will initially focus on requiting candidates for the Senate but the senator has not ruled out running candidates in national, state and local government elections.

Among the proposed party’s policies would be support for the establishment of a national apprentice, trade and traineeship system, which would aim to encourage Australians to join the defence force; the introduction of a financial transactions tax; and opposition to any formal or informal introduction of Sharia law in Australia.

Entrepreneur Dick Smith has also recently revealed his intentions to establish an eponymous political party, having already registered the business name “The Dick Smith Party”.

 

Most Australians think supermarket competition is “not healthy”

 

A majority of Australians (72%) believe the grocery market is too dominated by Coles and Woolworths and the duopoly does not foster a healthy competition, according to a survey released today by Master Grocers Australia.

Three quarters of the 1000 people surveyed said competition laws should be strengthened and 79% deemed it as “very” or “fairly” important for the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission to have the legal power to stop anti-competitive practices.

But many respondents said they consider the ACCC to be “toothless” at the moment.

“Most of us know that the existing competition laws have permitted Coles and Woolworths to gain extreme market domination, up to 80% of the grocery market,” Jos de Bruin, chief executive of Master Grocers, said in a statement.

“This survey shows a large majority of people believe there is something wrong with this state of affairs. They think the duopoly’s market concentration has already gone too far and they don’t believe there is healthy competition,” de Bruin added.

The study also showed 90% of Australians still think it is important for local independent supermarkets to survive.

 

Local shares up

 

Good data and strong market reactions overnight have Australian shares poised higher this morning, according to Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets.

“Local optimism is further supported by a lower Australian dollar against both the US dollar and the Japanese yen, highlighting the potential for international buyers to push stocks higher,” said McCarthy.

“Further falls in commodity prices may temper enthusiasm,” he added.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was up 82.8 points to 5928.9 points at 12:00PM AEDT. On Monday, the Dow Jones closed up 1.49%, jumping 263.65 points to 17,976.3 points.

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Kirsten Robb

Kirsten Robb is a former journalist at SmartCompany. Previously, she worked at News Corp as a property reporter for Leader Newspapers and the Herald Sun, and holds a Masters of Journalism at Melbourne University.

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