Maleny Voice

Call To Boycott Woolworths Ltd Stores Nationally

This is our boycott message reaching out from 2004 to the present day. The issues we faced have not gone away. Large corporations continue to grow more powerful, more dismissive of local planning schemes, and more predatory towards small businesses that they crush in their drive to even greater profits...

Why Boycott Woolworths??

Town aesthetics. The large concrete monstrosity with signs and other paraphernalia does significantly alter the appearance and ambience of our village. Contribution to increased traffic congestion in a known black spot. This will also endanger school children at the primary school close to the site. Woolworths does not support our town to any significant extent (donations of $2,500 maximum pa). Local businesses currently donate many tens of thousands of dollars annually - over $100,000 from the IGA supermarket!) Woolworths have stated they will not sell locally produced goods, such as Maleny Milk, and they have already been major contributors to the demise of dairy farmers in our region.

The large city-style Woolworths store constructed on the Obi Obi Creek bank:

  • Diminished our native flora and fauna species eg platypus
  • Continues to threaten Obi Obi Creek water quality (the Sunshine Coast's water source).

Unchecked power of big corporations is non-democratic.
CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY? This retail giant has shown no respect for our community, overriding its stated wishes.
The structure of our town and the interdependence of the community has been trodden over.

Woolworths conducted their own survey which indicated there was NO public support for a Woolworths development on this specific site, and only 35% support for a Woolworths store elsewhere in town... They built it regardless.


Read this hard hitting opinion from Alan Jones which was broadcast nationally in 2005.

"If rural Australians really want their local businesses protected, they should vote with their wallets all year round."
Roger Corbet, Woolworths CEO
(The Australian, page 12, April 14, 1999)
We couldn't agree with you more, Roger!

Erosion of traditional community business districts - For every 10 jobs created by Woolworths 17 jobs are lost in the existing local business community.
(Council of Small Business Organisations Australia)

Less product choice - Many familiar brands will soon disappear from the shelves as supermarkets replace them with new "own brand" varieties of low, medium and high quality.
(Food Groups unite as battle with the house brands erupts, The Age, 18/8/05.)

Domination of the retail market - Concern is growing that Australia's big grocery retailers, Woolworths and Coles Myer, control a possible 60% of the industry.
(Food retail stranglehold fear - Survey reflects concern over dominance of Coles, Woolies, The Australian, 2/5/05.)

Farmers - Generic or house brands of a large variety of food products are about to expand on the shelves of Woolworths and Coles Myer. Producers and packers in the sugar, egg, flour, rice and a raft of other industries suffer from unbalanced competition.
(The Weekly Times, Melbourne, 20/4/05.)

Citrus growers - Woolworths and Coles have been mixing local produce with that from overseas and labelling it all as local.
(Growers' Plea to shoppers as industry suffers: Don't buy if you're not sure it's local, The Advertiser, Adelaide, 9/6/05)

Dairy farmers - Many dairy farmers face severe financial circumstances, being undercut by Woolworths' Homebrand milk.
(The Age, 13/3/05) (Clashes over generic milk, The Weekly Times, Melbourne, 28/4/05)

Food quality - Woolworths continue to use GE derived ingredients and allow GE animal feed in their food supply chain.

Fresh food? - Not when it's freighted across the country to a distribution centre, then back again to you even if its from the farm next door.

Truck drivers - Truckies claim 80 - 90% of drivers use stimulants to keep to tight schedules imposed by Woolworths and Coles Myer. A new NSW law holds freight customers like Woolworths and Coles Myer accountable (this law was created after frustrated truckies blocked a major Sydney intersection, then took their grievance to Woolworths' head office.) Truck drivers have no such protection in other states.
(Townsville Bulletin, 20/4/05, The Cairns Post, 20/4/05, The Sydney Daily Telegraph, 14/6/05)

Pharmaceuticals - An attempt by Woolworths to retail pharmaceutical items in supermarkets has been rebuffed by the federal government. However Woolworths continues to attempt to enter into this market.

Liquor - Woolworths bought the Australian Leisure Hospitality Group for $1.3 billion in June this year. Earlier in the year, Woolworths lodged an objection to a small business' application for a liquor license saying that their BWS (Beer, Wine, Spirits) liquor outlet nearby would lose turnover.
(Taverner's pub group mulls IPO, The Australian, 8/6/05)

Woolworths dominates New Zealand - In conjunction with Metcash Trading, Woolworths have seized almost half of New Zealand's supermarket business.
(Grocery chains sold The Pam Press, 26/5/05 The Weekly Times, Melbourne, 1/6/05)




  • A supermarket was constructed despite opposition by 79% of residents.
    (Market Facts survey 20/7/05)
  • Unresolved traffic problems are associated with the development.
  • An established platypus colony was destroyed by the development.
  • Supermarket construction was supported by a disproportionate and inappropriate police presence.
  • Government at all levels sided with big business over the local community.

The Mullumbimby Community Action Network MCAN was formed in response to Woolworths potential high-jacking of Mullumbimby's local economy with their multinational globalisation policies. In contrast, the town aims to localise; strengthen their economy sustainably, building community solidarity and resilience at this time of global warming and peak oil.
(MCAN Website)

A Noosa Shire councillor asked residents to boycott their local Woolworths supermarket. Woolworths owns the Waterfront Hotel at Bli Bli where plans have been made to extend the hours of their gaming machines to begin at 8am.
(Channel 7 News, Sunshine Coast 30/8/05)

A Big W store is to be built on an oval in Moree's showgrounds against the wishes of some residents.

A Lane Cove businessman has just lost (22/8/05) a court case against Lane Cove Council approval of a library, Woolworths and carpark development. Woolworths have stated that approval for this development has taken longer than any other Woolworths development in Australia.

Local residents have formed the Neutral Bay Residents Action Group and they are most concerned about the size and scope of the proposed store and its impact on the neighbourhood. Issues which have particularly been highlighted include traffic, parking, noise and the effect on other small retailers. Woolworths have refused to amend their design to care for their neighbours.

Spoil from a Woolworths construction site was dumped in Norfolk Reserve at Greenacre on 18/09/98.

Residents fought for to save the village like atmosphere, demise of small retailers and increased noise and traffic from a loading dock of a proposed Woolworths redevelopment of an existing shopping plaza.

After an extensive investigation, the ACCC instituted proceedings alleging that in January /February 1997, Woolworths, the Walkabout Tavern and the Arnhem Club met and agreed to stop discounting the takeaway sales of cartons of Victoria Bitter beer, Jim Beam Bourbon Whisky White and Berry Riesling Cask Wine.
ACCC Findings


  • DON'T SHOP THERE - The most effective and direct action is to hit Woolworths' shareholders in their hip pockets.
  • Shop locally
    • to support retailers, growers and producers in your own community.
    • to reduce environmental degradation from transportation of goods all over the country.
    • Support or establish a local farmers' market where farmers sell direct to the public. >Read This PDF Guide<
  • Send letters and emails telling Woolworths why you don't shop there.
  • Safeguard your community's amenity by scrutinising local planning and zoning laws. Do you have valued locations which are vulnerable to this type of development?
  • Act before your town becomes another Maleny-like victim.