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Acton Supermarket to close

By Maiy Azize - 23 October 2007 28

by Toby Halligan

The ANU Union Board has gotten into hot water over the past week after deciding to refuse a lease renewal for the Acton Supermarket without giving public reasons or announcing what would replace it.

Reports from inside the Board room suggest that a Sanity and clothes shop were among the mooted replacements. Suggestions of another supermarket were unpopular with ANU Union General Manager, Rod Thomas, who has long lamented the competition the Supermarket offers to the mostly Union owned outlets in the refectory. By disposing of the Supermarket the Union will exert much greater control over drinks pricing on campus but the impact on students has led to an unprecedented backlash against the student representatives on the Board.

At present the Supermarket offers the best prices on campus for a variety of goods. It has products that are sold no where else, especially food for those with allergies to wheat and other widely used products. It also serves to concentrate business AT the ANU, has now students will be forced to walk for 10 minutes to the City West IGA to get their food and drink.

The Board has behaved, the Union Board AGM was scheduled for the 23rd of October at 12pm, only to be moved, to avoid the Supermarket backlash, to the 26th of November (when most students are off campus or on holidays) ONLY to move it back again to the 23rd after an even bigger backlash at the shifted meeting. With an intransigent board, hostile general manager all we have right now is public support and the knowledge that this decision was clearly not made with regard to the needs and lifestyles of the ANU’s students.

This is one of the few cases where letters and the expression of dissent may have an impact on changing the decision. Any help people on the Riot Act can offer would be awesome, especially through letters to the Vice Chancellor of the ANU, Ian Chubb (email: We’re trying to pressure the students of the Board through petitions, no confidence motions and letters but the VC may be the our last port of call if we can’t get any love out of the Board members!

Please, help us keep our Supermarket!

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28 Responses to
Acton Supermarket to close
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danny 10:45 am 05 Nov 07

never mind me, I found the letter in an earlier comment above.

danny 10:43 am 05 Nov 07

Any news on how this turned out?

Maiy Azize 10:06 pm 23 Oct 07

One more thing in response to bd84 – some Union outlets are being run at a deficit. The Union is a not-for-profit entity, it is run to benefit members. Any surplus is reinvested into the Union.

Maiy Azize 10:02 pm 23 Oct 07

In response to the above, the Board says the new supermarket will be run out of unused space in the newsagency.

I know it’s bad netiquette to keep commenting on my own post, but to also repond to Sammy above, the Board can’t categorically guarantee that they wont raise prices, because future Boards (the make up changes each year) cannot be bound to any agreement made by the current directors. The next Board can do whatever it likes onced it has monopoly. The best insurance in this instance is competition.

bd84 8:57 pm 23 Oct 07

If the prices at the union outlets were subsidised before the VSU then i’m mickey mouse. The food was crap (no doubt it still is) – with the exception of the fish and chips place near the bar, unless they overcooked the food- and the prices were the same, if not more expensive, as any other food court.

Reading the letter they appear to blame the VSU for the situation. Is it that they still expect the people who never use their services to subsidise their running? I think the answer is more in the rubbish they sell there. If they sold something decent and what students wanted more people would use the places.

Anyway why are they trying to run the union to turn huge profits? I would certainly think that its purpose is a service not-for-profit entity, and that small losses or profits should not matter unless they begin accumulating.

Anyway returning to the supermarket, i would think it would be one of the most profitable businesses in the refectory, it was always packed between lectures, i think the union are saying we want the profits cause we need them and we don’t want you to have them, more than anything else.

Plus I do not see how they can still provide a supermarket with more products, if it’s not in the same location.. there is no more space to make it any bigger, unless they’re planning to take over other tenancies too. The statement that you will still be able to get supplies at other union businesses in the mean time leaves me sceptical too. But i’ll guess the students will have fun buying milk for $5 and toiletries from the asian bistro lol

el ......VNBerlinaV8 8:24 pm 23 Oct 07

Yep. The union still needs to pay wages after all.

boomacat 8:09 pm 23 Oct 07

The prices in Union outlets pre VSU were apparently subsidised, but all the food there cost just the same as outlets in private centres, in other words it was like going to the food court in a westfield shopping town.

That hasn’t changed since VSU came in (obviously).

pierce 5:25 pm 23 Oct 07

Ah the joys of VSU – I guess you get what you pay for.

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