Saturday, November 22, 2008

GroceryChoice

The Rudd Government should scrap its farcical GroceryChoice website rather than just tinkering with it, Shadow Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs, Luke Hartsuyker, said today.

Mr Hartsuyker’s comments follow remarks made by Assistant Treasurer Chris Bowen today that more information will be added to GroceryChoice but only if it does not cost more money.

“GroceryChoice is widely regarded in industry circles as being nothing more than a basket case”, Mr Hartsuyker said.

“The website would be just as useless if Mr Bowen poured four times the amount of money in to it. The idea that he can somehow make it more useful now is ludicrous.

“The site does not provide any specific costs on any specific items at any specific supermarket. “The website is damaging to independent supermarkets as it places shops of all shapes and sizes in the one group and ignores the convenience many of them provide. “The website breaks Australia up into enormous regions that provide absolutely no relevance whatsoever regarding where a consumer may obtain the cheapest groceries. “And to top it off, the information is over a month old. “Grocery Choice is a complete, useless farce.

The Government should admit it and kill it of quickly.

“While I commend Independent Senator Nick Xenophon’s plans to introduce a bill to Parliament, calling for the website to be improved, unfortunately it was flawed from the start and remains fundamentally flawed now. “Mr Bowen’s comments today that feedback on the site has been that the information is useful, raises the question as to what planet Mr Bowen has been on.

“The figures falling from 3,000,000 hits a month to just 104,000 hits a month - a 97% drop in website traffic - should be evidence enough. “Mr Bowen is a C-grade ring master in a D-grade circus. He should admit Grocery Choice was a big mistake and save taxpayers’ money by shutting down the site.”

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