Page MP Kevin Hogan (Nationals) is calling for a royal commission with terms of reference covering the alleged misuse of market power by Australia’s supermarkets and petrol retailers.
Given the government spent years fending off demands for a royal commission into the banks, it will be interesting to see how they will react to the calls from parliament’s newest crossbencher.
On the other hand, with its majority in the lower house further reduced following the election of Kerryn Phelps, they may need to do all they can to keep him onside.
Either way, Mr Hogan isn’t fazed, saying he will move a motion next week ‘calling on a royal commission with terms of reference that cover these two areas.
‘I hear enough stories from our farmers and processors that warrant a royal commission into our major supermarkets,’ he said.
The allegations of misuse of market power, unconscionable conduct and the use of unfair contract terms must be investigated by a Royal Commission.’
‘The larger supermarket chains – Woolworths, Coles, ALDI – control more than 76 per cent of the industry.
Fuel price gouging
Mr Hogan also thinks his constituents, and regional residents generally, pay more than their fair share for fuel.
‘I am sick of regional and country retail petrol prices being higher than city prices. It is not unusual for there to be a 20-30 cent per litre differential. This is not explainable by transport costs or any other cost input.
‘With very little public transport options in the country, and the longer distances travelled, it is a huge impost on country people.
‘I have questioned the ACCC and others on this and have never had a reasonable explanation. This needs to be investigated by a royal commission to see if alleged price gouging is occurring.’