“This report is a call to action. The regulations for supermarkets are not clear enough and are creating major uncertainty for businesses and local communities,” ACT Greens Planning spokesperson, Caroline Le Couteur, said.
“The Greens strongly support the recommendation for a clear shopping centre hierarchy and for the government to define sizes for supermarkets for shopping centres so that Canberra can keep viable local shopping centres.
The report recognised that this could not be a ‘one size fits all’ approach given the fact that currently supermarkets in local centres vary in size from around 300 square metres to 1500 square metres. The report recommends that ACTPLA do the work to determine appropriate sizes.
“We have to stop the situation that occurred in Giralang where uncertainly about what size supermarket lead to 4 different DAs for redevelopment, ACAT appeals, a ministerial call in, and a Supreme Court case.
“The inquiry also recognised that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) regulates competition, and called on the ACT government to ask the ACCC to intervene.
“The ACT can regulate planning and thus the size and location of supermarkets but we cannot regulate who runs the supermarkets. Federal action is needed.