Department of the Legislative Assembly, Northern Territory Government

Territory Food Prices

Terms of Reference - Report

On 18 February 1999, the Legislative Assembly established the Select Committee on Territory Food Prices.  The need for this inquiry arose from the belief that Territorians pay higher prices for food and grocery items in the Territory than in other areas of Australia.

Previous to this, in January 1999, an article in the Business Review Weekly raised the public debate on food pricing. That article reported on studies conducted in August and September 1998 by two research companies funded by Life, Be In It and the apple and pear industries. One of the important findings in the study was that food shopping costs vary according to where people live and that the presence of significant competition rather than the availability of local produce influenced these costs as a key determinant.

The Report was tabled in the Legislative Assembly on the 19 August 1999 by the Chairman, Dr RSH Lim, ML

Terms of Reference

(1) A committee, to be known as the Select Committee on Territory Food Prices, to be appointed to inquire into and report on:

(a) whether or not the prices of food, groceries and household items across the Territory are substantially different to those in comparable locations elsewhere in Australia; and

(b) if so, identify the reasons for the variations in prices;

(2) unless otherwise ordered, membership will comprise Mr Balch, Dr Lim, Mr Mitchell, Mr Stirling and Mr Ah Kit;

(3) the committee or subcommittee shall have power to send for and examine persons, papers and records, to sit in public or in private session, notwithstanding any adjournment of the Assembly, and to adjourn from place to place;

(4) the quorum of the committee shall be three;

(5) unless otherwise ordered the committee shall report to the Assembly on or before 19 August 1999;

(6) the committee have power to appoint subcommittees and to refer to any such subcommittee any matter which the committee is empowered to examine;

(7) two members of a subcommittee constitute a quorum of a subcommittee;

(8) the committee or a subcommittee be empowered to publish from day to day such papers and evidence as may be ordered by it and, unless otherwise ordered by the committee, a daily Hansard be published of such proceedings as take place in public;

(9) the committee be provided with all necessary staff, facilities and resources and be empowered to appoint persons with specialist knowledge for the purposes of the committee with the approval of the Speaker;

(10) the foregoing provisions of this resolution, so far as they are inconsistent with the Standing Orders, have effect notwithstanding anything contained in the Standing Orders;

(11) if the Assembly is not sitting when the select committee has prepared its report for presentation, the committee may provide the report to the Speaker, and, in that event -

(a) the report of the Select Committee on Territory Food Prices shall be deemed to have been presented to the Assembly;

(b) the publication of the report is authorised by this resolution;

(c) the Speaker or Deputy Speaker, as the case may be, may give directions for the printing and circulation of the report; and the Speaker shall lay the report upon the Table at the next sitting of the Assembly.


Price, Quality and Choice: Striking a Fair Balance - Volume 1
Price, Quality and Choice: Striking a Fair Balance - Volume 2 Written Submissions
Price, Quality and Choice: Striking a Fair Balance - Volume 3 Transcripts of Proceedings

Last updated: 24 Aug 2016