Banducci threatened with prison sentence in fiery Senate stoush

Greens senator Nick McKim has threatened Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci with being held in contempt of court, which could see the grocery boss gaoled for six months and fined $5,000.

McKim insisted numerous times that Banducci tell the Senate committee what Woolworths’ return on equity during the last financial year, to which Banducci claimed he didn’t know – instead focusing on return on investment.

“There’s no context to this question, apart from the context where you are giving evidence to a Senate committee and it is open to the Senate to hold you in contempt and imprison you for up to six months if you do not comply with an order of this committee,” McKim blasted.

“That is the context of this question.”

Woolworths and Coles are being questioned over price hikes and record profits during the cost-of-living crisis at a Senate inquiry in Canberra today.

Banducci said of the grocery giant’s return on equity: “I do not focus on it, given it changes over time, therefore it is just not where our focus is, as it shouldn’t be.

“I focus on our return on investment, and our total shareholder return. Those are the numbers I know, those are the numbers we focus on and those are the numbers we should be judged on.”

Earlier during the hearings, McKim took aim at Banducci’s attempts to “bullshit the committee” by dodging the query, asking why he “wouldn’t answer a simple question.”


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