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THE NEWS WRAP: Coles looks to extend “approved” field agent program to convenience stores and liquor

Monday, 8 July 2013 | By Andrew Sadauskas

Wesfarmers-owned supermarket giant Coles is examining the possibility of extending its proposed ‘licenced’ field agent plan to its Coles Express convenience stores and liquor store chains, including Liquorland, First Choice and Vintage Cellars.


Under the proposal, independent “field agents”, who currently act as representatives of suppliers, would need to be “approved” by the supermarket giant in a move expected to reduce fees.


“Most of our large and medium suppliers maintain a significant field force to visit our stores on a weekly basis. Up to 30 field reps visit our stores in a day,” a leaked Coles tender document states.


“To resolve all these issues, Coles is exploring options for creating a panel of third-party field force companies that could be used by our suppliers.”


Mining industry urges end to “green tape” duplication


The mining industry is urging the federal government to cut “green tape”, claiming the duplication of approvals processes between the federal and state governments delays projects and adds costs for little environmental benefit.


“A study by the Australian National University shows that in the first 10 years of the operation of the commonwealth's project approval laws under the EPBC Act, an extra $820 million had been added to the cost of approvals for no extra environmental protection," said Minerals Council of Australia chief executive Mitch Hooke.


"There is ongoing demand for Australia's resources but unless we dramatically improve our approvals system and policy settings more generally, we risk missing the boat.”


Greece looks to secure next $10.4 billion bailout tranche


Greece is in talks with representatives from the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund in order to secure the next $10.4 billion tranche of its bailout package.


While it is likely the negotiations will succeed successfully over the coming days, the bailout is subject to commitments to economic reforms, including a further 12,500 public servants being placed in a “mobility scheme” from which they will either be transferred or made redundant within a year.


“The ball is in the Greek court and it depends on whether Greece is able to deliver the remaining elements of the milestones that have been agreed,” EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said.




The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 1% to 15135.8. The Aussie dollar is down to US90.51 cents.